Phillipe Clement says that Rangers are willing to play their fixture against Dundee behind closed doors if necessary, as the Ibrox manager revealed that a deadline of Tuesday lunchtime has been set to make a call on whether the rearranged match will go ahead next Wednesday night at Dens Park.

Clement and his players were in St Andrews preparing for the match on Wednesday evening before a pitch inspection at 3.30pm saw referee Don Robertson deem the Dens Park pitch unplayable, and the game was cancelled for a second time.

Rangers even offered to play the match on Thursday of this week, three days before they head to Dingwall to play Ross County, but that suggestion was rebuffed by the SPFL.

The Rangers manager is annoyed that his squad’s schedule has been disrupted in this manner at such a critical stage of the season, but he reiterated to his men that he won’t be accepting the postponement fiasco as an excuse to lose their focus.

“The last thing that I hear now, the last information that I got, is that we will know Tuesday at 12 o’clock at the latest where we are going to play on Wednesday,” Clement said.

“Normally [that would be] in Dundee. If it is not possible it will need to be somewhere else. That we know now, Tuesday at 12 o’clock before we travel, we know what is going to happen.

“We need to make several plans. I hope we know a few days before where the other venue will be to organise things.

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“If that is the decision [to play behind closed doors], we will play behind closed doors. If they ask us to play on Mars, we go to Mars, we take the flight. To win the three points, that is our mindset of the whole group, me and all my players.

“[Playing without our fans] is a disadvantage, of course. But it is what it is. We need to adapt. Like when it was Covid, we didn’t like it also. But our mindset is that whatever decisions are made we go to win games. That is the mindset. No excuses around that.”

Rangers released a stinging statement yesterday, taking aim at Dundee for their failure to maintain their pitch and branding the club as ‘unprofessional’, ‘negligent’ and accusing them of ‘damaging’ Scottish football.

Clement stood firmly behind those words, saying that this saga has taken away the good feeling around the Scottish game created by last weekend’s thrilling Old Firm encounter. Though, he specified that their ire is not aimed at Dundee manager Tony Docherty or his players, who are also victims of their club’s mismanagement.

“This situation was clear a few weeks before, it's been a problem for a long time apparently,” he said.

“It's, for us, the second time that the game has been postponed, it's five games this season that have been postponed so that's 30 percent of the home games that have been postponed this season.

“I don't remember in 30 years of football all over Europe that that happened anywhere, so there's a big problem, I think.

“If you start to speak about climate change or things like that [as Dundee secretary Eric Drysdale did] then you don't realise the problem yet so that's one point.

“It's not pointed at the manager of Dundee and the players because they are the victim also of this situation. I want to make this really clear because they're having a really good season and they're also frustrated about that.

“But it's not a normal situation that you play in the Premiership, the best league. I think the league had a really good advertisement at the weekend with the Old Firm, there were so many people watching this game. I hear it was even a record until now.

“Everybody was really positive about the game, about the intensity, everything - although I didn't like the start! So, it was a really positive thing for Scottish football but then three days later this is really bad for the image of Scottish football that these things can happen.

“It could have been avoided by playing at another venue somewhere else because everyone knew what the situation was.

“It's pointed at the club, they didn't do the right things to have a decent football field and it's happened several times already this season so that needs to be solved otherwise we cannot play the game.

“I also understand that teams like Hibs and Motherwell feel really bad about this situation and that could've been avoided last week by saying, 'Okay, we will make a decision earlier or we play at another venue.' We were even prepared to play today, so short ahead of the Ross County game.”

For now then, Clement is happy to at least be able to prepare for Rangers’ next match against Ross County with a certain degree of certainty that the game will go ahead, but he remains unhappy about the damage the Dens Park fiasco has done to his players’ schedule, and the inconvenience it has caused to supporters.

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“You guys maybe don't understand but we have a very busy schedule, you are preparing everything, training and preparation,” he said.

“The guys almost don't have any free days. They will have two free days this month. I've had to take one off now because we had to change our programme. So, there's a lot of things around it.

“Yesterday when we were in the hotel I saw a father with a small boy, it was the second time that they've travelled from Wales to St Andrews for the boy to see a Rangers game and it's the second time the game's been cancelled. It was a boy of six, seven years old who was crying.

“There's a lot of things around that, all the fans coming there from Wales, from England, from Northern Ireland, from all over the place the first time a few weeks ago and now again. This is really bad for the image of football in Scotland.

“Everybody needs to realise that, and it needs to be avoided. It's important to make the right decisions that this cannot happen anymore.”