RANGERS great John Brown has admitted he can see similarities between Philippe Clement and legendary Ibrox managers Graeme Souness and Walter Smith and predicted that his players will not be thinking about moving to the top of the cinch Premiership or doing a domestic treble this season.

James Tavernier and his team mates can leapfrog Celtic and move into first place in the top flight table for the first time this season if they defeat managerless Ross County by three goals in their game in hand in Govan tomorrow evening.

However, Clement, who has overseen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes since replacing Michael Beale as manager back in October, has repeatedly stated that he is not interested in his side’s league position at the moment, only their performances.

Speaking at a promotional event for the Rangers Youth Development Company and their Union Jackpot half-time draw product at Ibrox yesterday, Brown stressed that Souness and Smith had always adopted exactly the same approach.   

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“The important thing is to win the game on Wednesday,” he said. “If we go top, I don’t think it will have an impact on what he is doing. I think he (Clement) is just taking it a game at a time and is looking to win each game.

“Looking back at my own experiences with various managers, it was always about the next game, not the third game or waiting until the Old Firm game came up. There is no point in that. You have to deal with your next game. I think he is putting that point over to the players.

The Herald: “Can I tell you one thing that Graeme Souness once said to me? He said, ‘I pick the team. The only person you need to worry about is me, not the fans. You have got to keep me happy to stay in the team’. That is what Philippe is putting over to his players.

“They have to do as he is demanding or they will not be in the side. And every player is reacting to that. The team’s priority is to win the game. The manager will not be putting big demands on how many goals they get. It would be great to go top. We are in a good vein of form. But I don’t think that is the priority for the manager. It is great because he is keeping the players’ feet on the ground.”

Brown added: “Walter and Graeme had that. Walter’s man management skills were great. But if you got on the wrong side of him . . . Graeme had that as well. Look back at the players he moved out, international players. Reputation meant nothing to him, it was all about the football club.

“I think Philippe has come in and won the respect of the dressing room by how he is putting his points over to his team. You can see the players are enjoying it, you can see the effort since he has come in in the performances.

“I think players suss out managers, figure out if they are up to the task or not. That is the reaction you are seeing from the squad to the present manager. Everything is low key, he just gets his points over and he is not looking too far ahead. It is just next game. That is all you can do. I think this squad of players are looking at the manager and they are winning football matches.

“They are coming in on a Monday morning, they are enjoying the content of the training, it is all geared towards winning the next game. The players are thriving. I loved coming in on a Monday morning because you knew you were coming in to a quality manager, whether that was Graeme or Walter.

“The content of the training was competitive every day. We had a lot of international players and the competitive edge was there even in small-sided games. We still wanted to win from Monday to Friday. You set the tone for how you played on the Saturday with how you trained.

“I think this manager is the same. He has got that across to the players – that he will demand a lot through the week in training to take into the games.”

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Asked if he thought the Viaplay Cup champions could do a clean sweep of domestic silverware this season, Brown said: “The manager won't be thinking about that. He'll just be thinking about the next game because they're up against the team that won the treble last year. The manager will make sure he's focussing the players on the next game.

“Even the treble I was involved with in 92-93, we never thought about that, it was just about keeping winning. We never thought about trebles, even after the first trophy. At clubs like the Old Firm clubs, you have to win, if you don't there's a consequence.”

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