Rangers' injury problems have been instrumental in costing the last two managers their jobs so it's no surprise a chunk of Philippe Clement's early work has been investigating this costly problem. Insiders in the Ibrox club estimate that around £25m of wages were paid out to unfit players last term and their new manager hasn't taken long to spot the issue.

A solution is especially pressing given Clement has already put a marker down by stating his intention to create the strongest physical team in the league. To achieve this aim, the Ibrox walking wounded will have to be processed through the club doctor Mark Waller, someone Clement has been actively building a relationship with since his arrival

"I always work in a really good way with the medical staff," he said.  "I am really on top of that so in the beginning all medical staff are surprised because I want to know all the details, discuss all the things, and work more individually with the players towards what they do in the week physically to make them ready for the games."

While Rangers will remain training as a group, they will also be much more focused on individual physical targets. While careful not to fall into the trap of criticising the former incumbent, it's certain Clement feels he can get more out of this group.

Asked directly if Rangers are fit enough or still have a long way to go, he replies: “There is still a way to go and that is the challenge now with all the games. In the next two weeks we have seven games. To still do it in a smart way, without getting players injured, we must raise the level from every individual.

“The best way to describe it is this - if you have the best player physically at a high level and the worst player several levels below, if you train the same way all the time the average level is somewhere in between. The top player doesn’t become any better because he is not challenged, so they will go down in their level.

“At the mediocre level they will be challenged and they will grow a bit but at the lowest level they will be challenged too much and become injured again or break.

"So you lose the weak ones and you don’t make the strong ones any better. If you train them more individually, the ones at the highest levels and mediocre levels improve. We need to reach the highest levels and it will take time.”

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And yet that's not something you get too readily at Rangers. The Ibrox club face a tough challenge from Hibs on Saturday, seemingly revitalised by their new manger Nick Montgomery who has quickly whipped them into better shape. The former Central Coast Mariners boss has stated publicly he won't come to Ibrox with the intent of just defending but Clement will clearly take such pronouncements with a pinch of salt.

“Of course, I have looked at Hibs. I look at everything. I focus on everything, that’s sometimes a burden but we have good analysts here that have given me good information.

"They play football normally, yes, but maybe not tomorrow. We will see. We are ready for both scenarios.”

Given Rangers' recent form, Montgomery might be wise to sit deep and ask Rangers strikers some searching questions. Ibrox can be cantankerous when things aren't going well, such are the lofty demands of a fanatical supporter base. Getting them onside and back in symbiosis with the Rangers players is a key tenet of what Clement is trying to do in the weeks and months ahead and he's well aware of the power the fans can add to the team. 

He said: “It gives so much energy. I had it in my playing days. If you’re on the pitch and feel all this enthusiasm, all this energy, all these bursts of people behind you, you become invincible. You become so strong, you get so much energy.

“That’s the power the fans have, that’s why I want to tell them also that it’s a very important point for this club if they really get behind the players in moments when things go wrong. It gives so much power and I want to create that again together. But I know it’s a two-way street.

“We can’t just expect the fans to be positive. We need to show things also on the pitch, that we can go hard and give everything. That we want to play forward and create chances, to be tough in the duels and be brave. So I will try to help on both sides to create a really strong story again together."

While over 50,000 souls will pack Ibrox to the rafters on Saturday, Clement is no stranger to passionate fan bases from his time as a player in both club and international football. Club Brugge, where he spent the lion's share of his career, has a 30,000 seater stadium known for its animated crowd. It was something the 49-year-old missed in Monaco where the average attendance hovers around 5000 from season to season.

He said: “I was with Brugge for 19 years - 10 as a player, nine as a coach. Okay, the stadium holds 30,000 people, not 50,000 like here - but the atmosphere is really warm. Standard Liege is like that as well. But if you play games like Brugge vs Anderlecht or World Cup qualifiers like Belgium vs Holland like we did in the past or at the Stade de France with 80,000 people, it’s also hot.

“So yeah, I hope to create this synergy between the fans and the players again because it’s a big strength. I’ve been at a club where the home games don’t have many supporters and it’s a totally different dynamic. So it’s one of the things I missed."