DUJON Sterling has recalled how Philippe Clement was astonished he had not been playing for Rangers on a regular basis after he took over from Michael Beale as manager at Ibrox in October.

Sterling, who moved to Glasgow last summer after his contract at Chelsea expired, featured in just six matches and only started in three games under Beale. 

However, the 24-year-old has been selected regularly in a number of positions by Clement in the past four months and has helped the Govan club to lift the Viaplay Cup, reach the last 16 of the Europa League and move to the top of the cinch Premiership.

The Englishman, who has been deployed at left back and in central midfield this term, has played on the right wing in the past two league games against St Johnstone and Hearts and has contributed to 3-0 and 5-0 victories.

Sterling was always hopeful he could make the breakthrough into the first team – but he admitted that it was only when former Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco manager Clement came in that he really got his chance.  

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“It just shows you how quickly football can change,” he said.  You just have to keep working every day as I was doing.

“This gaffer has come in and seen what I was doing every day on the training pitch. He said to me, ‘I don’t understand why you aren’t playing.’ He had the confidence and the belief in me to play me. I’ve got to thank him.”

The Herald: Sterling, who is set to be involved in some capacity with Rangers in the Premiership encounter with fourth-placed Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow evening, has told how Clement is constantly pushing him to do better in training and games.

The utility man has never scored a goal in senior football despite having loan spells at Coventry City, Wigan Athletic, Blackpool and Stoke City in the past and he admitted that he is desperate to get off the mark.

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“No footballer wants to have a bad game,” he said. “For me, it’s just a case of trying my best. Even if I make a couple of mistakes on the pitch, all right, I’ll just try and win the ball back. 

“It’s all about your reaction. That’s what he’s been drilling into my head in the past couple of months. He wants my reactions quicker, quicker, quicker. That’s what I’ve been trying to work on every day in training. 

“Scoring goals, that’s the next step. Hopefully if I do play in that midfield position again, I’ll do better in that area. It’s just a case of knowing where I am in the box and when I can pull the trigger. I’ve come close. Hopefully, it’s coming sooner rather than later.”