PHILIPPE Clement has revealed that he took Rangers playmaker Todd Cantwell off against Hibernian as a precautionary measure – and removed Nicolas Raskin from the field at Easter Road because his foot had gone to sleep.

Playmaker Cantwell and midfielder Raskin failed to reappear for the second half of the rearranged cinch Premiership match in Leith and were replaced by Tom Lawrence and Dujon Sterling respectively.

The substitutes helped the Ibrox club, who still have a game in hand against struggling Ross County to play in Govan, to record a 3-0 triumph which moved them to within just five points of top flight leaders Celtic.

Clement did not appear too concerned about Cantwell, who was bundled into the Hibs technical area by Kanayo Megwa and Elie Youan just before he netted Rangers’ second goal, or Raskin when he spoke to reporters after full-time.   

READ MOREHibernian 0 Rangers 3: Instant reaction to the burning issues

Asked about Cantwell, Clement said: “It’s too fast to assess that, but it looks okay for the moment and I hope tomorrow also. After that, he made a really good goal, but I didn’t want to take a risk with those things.

“Same with Nico. His foot was sleeping. We thought it was because of the tape. We took the tape out and he had the same sensations. He cannot play on one foot. That’s why we made the changes.

“And the two players who came in had directly an impact on the game and that needs to be our strength the next couple of months.

“All the guys who came in had good impact on the game, so that has been our strength the last couple of months that whoever is playing in whatever position, they know what to do, do everything for the team and work hard together. That’s why we are getting much more points.”

The Herald: Meanwhile, Clement has revealed the operation that Senegalese forward Abdallah Sima had on the thigh injury which ruled him out of the African Cup of Nations had gone to plan and expressed hope the Brighton loanee will be back before the end of the season.  

“The surgery went well,” he said. “The surgeon was pleased with how it went. It went good. It will be between two or three months he will be out.”

READ MORERangers manager thanks Neil Lennon for making his job at Ibrox easier

Elsewhere, Clement admitted that he is unsure if left back Ridvan Yilmaz, who opened the scoring against Hibs with a well-taken first half strike, will still be a Rangers player when the January transfer window closes next week.

The Belgian, who is on the brink of completing the £4.5m signing of Ivorian midfielder Mohamed Diomande from Nordsjaelland in Denmark, stressed he is keen to increase his options even further in the coming days.

Asked if he was confident Yilmaz was fully focused on Rangers, he said: “Of course, otherwise he would never be on the pitch. If I see something else he will never be in the selection, that is clear. We can only work and win games with players who are involved with the club and give everything.

“Is that a guarantee that the player is here next week? That you never know. It is with every position on the field. As long as they are with Rangers, they need to give their best and I will give them chances.

“It is the transfer market and there are a lot of rumours. I have to say, a lot of wrong rumours. Much more wrong than right. I cannot go into detail because then I am talking all the time about rumours and I prefer to talk about football and my players to make them better.”

READ MOREHibs unaware of Rangers tifo request after Easter Road banner blast

Clement continued: “We need the squad to be competitive in three competitions. We need that, but it doesn't mean that if a new player comes he is guaranteed to play. It is about showing that you are the best.

“I don’t care if someone is new, cost a lot of money, is 17 or 27 or has the biggest contract or the smallest contract in the team. It is what you show in the training and being part of the team and wanting to be part of the team.

“We always need more goals. We can still improve that. We had a few chances when we can be more cool or have more overview, but those are the steps to take as a squad. We are working on a lot of things every day.

“You see improvement with every player when I compare with three months ago. I don’t see one player who has lowered his level and this what we need to do with all staff together, all players together, to be hungry, to be ambitious, to become better. Then I will make decisions.

“Everybody shows themselves that they are hungry for the team, not for themselves, but for the team and give everything, they will get the chance to play. We have a lot of games."

The Herald: