Philippe Clement has explained his decision to drop Connor Goldson to the bench for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts.

The Rangers centre-back - usually everpresent in the backline - is listed among the substitutes for the semi-final with Leon Balogun starting at Hampden.

And Clement has revealed he had planned to rest Goldson on Wednesday night against Dundee to gain "freshness" but he had to alter his plans with the Nigerian battling illness.

That meant Goldson played at Dens Park, and now Balogun has been thrown into the starting line-up for the showdown at the national stadium.

Clement rejected any suggestion Goldson's form had suffered as he cited tiredness for his change in the defence.

READ MORE: Philippe Clement update on John Lundstram's Rangers future

On BBC Sportsound, Clement explained: "Connor played a lot of games the last couple of months, a lot of minutes, did a lot of really good things, that's why we were the best defence in the league. But he was also lacking some freshness.

"I had this plan on Wednesday but Leon became sick at the last minute so it's more to gain freshness again. That was the plan but it wasn't possible because Leon was sick.

"It's the number of matches, it's not one player in the world who plays all this time at the same level, it's normal when you play a lot of games that at one moment you can be a little bit more tired."