Philippe Clement takes aim at Rangers winger’s critics

Philippe Clement takes aim at Rangers winger’s critics
SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 14: Ross McCausland of Rangers reacts during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Real Betis and Rangers FC at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 14, 2023 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Philippe Clement has once again demonstrated his canniness with the press after emphatically defending Ross McCausland who has come under a spot of criticism from certain sections of the fanbase, admittedly including Ibrox Noise.

See, McCausland is nowhere near the final article – when we compare the difference in ‘danger factor’ between him and Matondo, the Welshman is notably ahead, and of course new man Oscar Cortes basically blew both of them away on his debut.

But a wise manager doesn’t list a player’s faults, he defends them.

He defends them and this means they know he has their back, and they’ll run through walls for them.

It’s just how you handle potentially sensitive players who might not like being publicly criticised – and that was put to Clement, that McCausland was getting a few little digs from some sections.

He responded:

“I don’t know what people are saying, but I don’t care also what people say about my players. I see a player who was four months ago playing in the second team and who has been important in several games already this season. It is a big step up from playing for the second team to playing with Rangers. It is not only about goals and statistics. It is about all the other things you do. How he presses, how he wins balls. How he keeps possession for the team. How he works, how he is in the building. Four months ago, he was a player playing in the second team who nobody knew. Now he has already played a lot of games for Rangers, been decisive in games and played for his national team. I think it is a great evolution in four months. That is why I am happy about it. Because of his mindset and focus and hunger, he will make an amazing career. Rangers will not be the last or the highest place that he will play.”

We don’t actually agree with much of what Big Phil is saying here, we’re not seeing the evolution he’s expressing, we still see the same player who broke through in those incredible 8 days in October but for us hasn’t really kicked on since then.

But but but we absolutely and utterly agree with his tactic of saying it, of defending the boy rigidly – and for Clement we suspect he sees McCausland as ‘his’ player – interim manager Steven Davis gave the lad the chance, but it was Clement who really saw the birth of McCausland’s senior career.

And it’s like family – if someone criticises your family, even that annoying Uncle Bob, you will defend your family because they’re blood, because you just ‘do’.

Clement is protective of his players, he will have their backs and that will make them give him more.

And he’s absolutely right to do the same with McCausland. Maybe we’ll see the NI international take the next step in his evolution as a player and add a few more tricks to his game.

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