PHILIPPE Clement has ordered his Rangers players to start using the cryo chamber at their Auchenhowie training complex on a regular basis as he attempts to solve what he yesterday described as “the biggest puzzle” and figure out why so many of members of his squad are suffering injuries.

Clement made thinly-veiled criticisms about the training regime under his predecessor Michael Beale shortly after he had been appointed manager at the Ibrox club last month as he bemoaned the number of players who were sidelined.

The Belgian, who was missing Leon King, Tom Lawrence, Rabbi Matondo, Kemar Roofe and Dujon Sterling at the time, has since lost Borna Barisic, Nicolas Raskin and John Souttar to knocks.

He will take a severely depleted squad through to Dens Park for a difficult cinch Premiership game against on-form Dundee this evening.

The former Beveren, Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco manager was unable to hide his frustration as he spoke to the media ahead of his first away outing in the league. “I feel like a doctor, not a coach,” he said as he listed those who are on the treatment table.   

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Clement believes he knows the reasons why so many key men have had problems with their health and fitness this term and is optimistic that he has made changes behind the scenes which will ensure that the situation improves in the long-term.

He revealed that he was astonished to discover that very few of his players had taken advantage of the cryo chamber – which exposes users to extremely low temperatures, speeds up their recovery after exercise and reduces their risk of injury – at the training ground before he arrived. He has told them in no uncertain terms that they must start doing so.

Asked about Brazilian forward Danilo consulting a mental coach to help him recover from the serious facial injury he suffered against St Johnstone in Perth before the international break, he said: “That is good. I like players who are ambitious and who look at the small margins to become better.

“For example, we have a cryo chamber here that was not heavily used before. We talked about that. It helps players who have inflammations, they disappear faster so they have less risk of injury. It helps in recovery. I used it myself when I was a player and I know the effect. It was very clear that it helps. 

 “After I said it once, everybody is going now after every game. Those are the things we need to improve as a group all together. We need to educate the players what it is to be a top professional.” 

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Clement continued: “We started with a lot of players not available and have had some players falling out also in the last couple of weeks. That’s the difficulty for the moment. It’s quite a puzzle. It’s the biggest puzzle that I ever saw, to be honest, with all the injuries and players dropping out. 

“So it will be really important every game to look at the minutes of every player and try to build their physical condition, their robustness, in the next couple of weeks and months to have a bigger squad available. Everyone in the club knows it’s a really important part of the future for Rangers. 

“But this is work that’s never short-term. That’s impossible. No, this is a long-term project. Creating physical ability and players ready for 90 minutes every three days for months is not something you can do in two weeks training. No-one can. Same with robustness and making them stronger in general.”

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Clement stressed that many of the players who he has available – including those who could come in to replace Raskin, who sustained an ankle injury in the hard-fought 2-1 win over Hearts in Govan on Sunday, in midfield – are not 100 per cent fit at the moment either.

“Danilo is ready to play,” he said. “We will see what is important in this game and if it is necessary he starts, or that he comes in. It depends on the opponent also, what profiles you need, and the physical state of the players. But he’s not ready for 90 minutes. That’s logical. 

“It (the Raskin replacement) will be a player who comes out of injury. For the moment we only have players who come out of injury to play that position. You need to see where their level is, they will not be at their best level. We need to build that. And we need to see how long Nico is out. I hope short term, but we don’t have guarantees yet.”

Clement was pleased with the fighting spirit which his players showed in their league encounter with Hearts at the weekend – they came from 1-0 down to triumph 2-1 thanks to goals in the 89th and 93rd minutes and reduced the lead Celtic hold at the top of the Premiership table to five points.

But the 49-year-old would like to see James Tavernier and his team mates start their meeting with Dundee, who are unbeaten in four outings and moved up to fifth place on Saturday with a 2-0 triumph over Livingston away, strongly on Tayside tonight. 

“In the three games I have been involved in I have seen things that I want to see, things that I demanded of the team,” he said. “Against Hibs, starting the way we did is also good mentality. It’s not just about reacting when things go wrong or are difficult. Mentality is also to start really strong, be confident and to go full and work hard.

“In the three games I saw a good mentality not only in the 11 who started, but also those who came on from the bench. They know after 10 days together that I’m not a guy who will put out the same 11 in the next couple of months. Because after that they get tired and their level drops. There are spots to take, there are possibilities and they need to take them.”

The Herald: Rangers manager Philippe Clement, right, Alex Rae, centre, and Steven Davis, left, in training at