PHILIPPE Clement has ordered his Rangers players to take a break from football after admitting they had played “over their limits” during a punishing schedule of 11 games in 37 days.

Clement’s side bounced back from their defeat to Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday with a comfortable 3-1 triumph over Kilmarnock in a cinch Premiership match at Ibrox yesterday afternoon.

Goals from Ross McCausland, Abdallah Sima and Todd Cantwell ensured the home team collected all three points and went in to the winter break on the back of a positive result.

Clement, who took over from Michael Beale as Rangers manager back in October, has struggled with a lengthy injury list in recent weeks and is keen for his charges to rest and recover from their exertions before heading to La Manga in Spain for a warm weather training break.

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“It was a really good performance against a team I respect a lot," he said. "They’d won three out of the four games against the Old Firm this season.  

“It’s a difficult team to break because they’re really organised with a lot of physicality. We had to be on our toes, but we showed a lot of quality with three really good football goals, with good combination play and we could have scored more. A really positive afternoon. 

“The challenge against Kilmarnock was that it was at the end of a really busy period. We had 11 games in 37 days, we had a lot of injured players. At one stage we had 11 players out.  

The Herald: “I had the feeling at some moments I was pulling an elastic band at its maximum and it could break at any moment. But the players played to their limits and over their limits at some moments.  

“At the end if you can give this performance it means the team is growing a lot. I’m happy they can have a short break to recover, mentally and physically, before we start a hard month in January with a good training camp.  

“I’ve told them I’m really proud of them because in 11 weeks a lot has happened. I’m proud of what they’re doing and that they’re growing. They need to relax now to make a strong re-start to the season. There are still a lot of challenges for us, but we will have more time to grow and become better.” 

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Asked if he was pleased with the response to the Celtic reverse, he said: “Yes, because those are not easy things. I said it also in the opposite way after the win in Betis. Three days later we then had to be there again and performing under all the pressure to win a trophy after so many years. 

“They showed resilience, concentration, ambition and today they showed that also. This is one of the dangerous games where you’d be disappointed not to win. It’s a few hours away from going on a break.  

“It’s the festive time where all the family are around you having a good time with drinks, food and a good life. They had to recover really fast and then perform. But they are doing that. 

“They are on the right road. They understand my story, which is also important. This is that life is much better when you are ambitious every day. If you go in satisfied about what you did, then you go down. 

“I see a team who wants to become better. I see a lot of players making this evolution. Now they can switch off. I told them in the dressing room they can switch off for a few days. Of course they need to do their programme. 

“They cannot let their body to nothing for five or six days and then have a hard training camp, because then you’re at risk of injuries. But outside of that they really need to switch off and enjoy their time with their families.”

The Herald: Rangers forward Abdallah Sima, right, is congratulated on his goal against Kilmarnock at IbroxClement felt that left back Ridvan Yilmaz was a deserved winner of the Man of the Match award after the Kilmarnock victory and also confessed that he was pleased to see Nicolas Raskin return to action late on after over two months out with an ankle injury.

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“I think it was the best performance I’ve seen from Ridvan so far,” he said. “He’s also one of the players who are growing. But I have to say that about a lot of players if I compare it to 11 weeks ago how they played then and how they are playing now. I see a lot of players who are growing and that’s the road we need to take. 

“It’s important that we get players back and Nico worked really hard all this time to come back as fast as possible. 

“It was a reward from my side to him that he could take a few minutes and get the feeling again of being on the pitch after all the hard work he has done. 

 “He could have taken one week to be ready for the training camp but he was hungry to be back as fast as possible. I am happy I could give him something back.”