Philippe Clement reckons his humble heroes are giving him headaches and their success isn’t falling out of the sky.
The Rangers manager, who confirmed his 15-goal winger Abdallah Sima has had surgery and is due to return before the end of the season, was delighted at the team ethic as goals from Ridvan Yilmaz, Todd Cantwell and sub Cyriel Dessers sank Hibs. Clement’s 11th win in 13 Premiership games cut the gap on Celtic at the top of the table to five points with a game in hand.
The Belgian says the lack of ego and desire to shine within the entire unit means he’s got super stand-ins and a sore brain trying to pick a team. Clement said: “I hope after several victories they keep on understanding where it is coming from. It is not falling out of the sky. It is about a lot of effort, a lot of solidarity and not having too big an ego to play for yourself. So I am going to be really strict on that and to look at the team and make team decisions.
“All the guys who came in had a good impact on the game, so that’s been our strength the last couple of months that whoever is playing in whatever position, they know what to do, do everything for the team and work hard together.
“I told them after training on Tuesday they give me quite a headache to pick a starting XI. But it is a good thing. I hope they give me a lot of headaches in the next couple of months.”
Clement gave his team an interval talking-to but was delighted overall at the Easter Road showing. He added: “I had some remarks which we talked about at half-time. It was a really good second half, a lot of domination.
“For me it was four goals. One was disallowed and that was correct, I’ve seen it and it was a few centimetres offside but it was also a good goal. The clean sheet was also important but we need to be honest.
“Jack Butland also made a few good saves. We can’t say Hibs didn’t create chances. But after this evening everyone
will say they saw a good Rangers team and good football. I think because of both teams it was a good advertisement for Scottish football.”
Yilmaz scored the opener with his future at Rangers still unclear. But he was focused and the Light Blues boss said: “Of course, otherwise he would never be on the pitch.
“If I see something else he will never be in the selection, that is clear. We can only work and win games with players who are involved with the club and give everything.
“Is that a guarantee that the player is here next week? That you never know. As long as they are with Rangers they need to give their best and I will give them chances.”
Clement also insists he didn’t take risks with second goalscorer Cantwell or Nicolas Raskin who were replaced at half-time and both should be fine for Saturday’s game against St Mirren. He said: “It’s too fast to assess that [Cantwell] but it looks okay for the moment and I hope tomorrow also.
“I didn’t want to take a risk with those things. Same with Nico. His foot was sleeping. We thought it was because of the tape. We took the tape out and he had the same sensations. He cannot play on one foot. That’s why we made the changes.”
The manager also updated the Sima injury situation and said: “Abdallah had his operation and the surgeon was really happy. He will be out for between two and three months.”