PHILIPPE Clement has suggested that Rangers’ game against Dundee being called off in midweek may have been a factor in their poor display in the shock 3-2 defeat to relegation-threatened Ross County in Dingwall this afternoon.

However, the Belgian manager stressed that it was not an excuse for a loss in the Highlands which leaves the Ibrox club four points behind Celtic in the cinch Premiership table with a game in hand still to play.

And he warned his charges there will have to be a dramatic improvement when they return to action in their rescheduled match at Dens Park on Wednesday night.

Clement was deeply unhappy when their meeting with Dundee away was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch for a second time last week and felt the disruption may have contributed to their performance.  

READ MORERoss County manager responds to handshake snub by Philippe Clement

Asked if Rangers could win their last six games and lift the Scottish title, he said: “I am not a mathematician so I do not know. We are going to go into every game to win the game and we will see in the last two games what the ranking is.

“The same story as it was three days ago or one week ago. We need to be focused on us. Maybe it (the postponed game) was part of what happened today, but it is not an excuse.

“It’s been all week about anything except football in our club and around our club so maybe that influenced things, but it is not an excuse. We need to win games whatever the situation. 

Clement added: “We threw away the points. We didn't start well in the first half on the ball and in the duels. We had chances, but we were not lethal with the chances we had in the first half, a few of which were clear ones.

“You come into half time in a good way 1-0 ahead, but I warned the players it was not good enough in the first half and I wanted to see more [after the break] and get the clean sheet.

“But then you concede two goals in five minutes or something like that and start to chase the game. That makes it more difficult and you give energy to the opponent who get more energy and put their bodies in front of the ball all over the pitch to make a decisive duel.

“In the last half hour, I saw the urgency and I wanted to see that 90 minutes long, not 30 minutes long. But it doesn't matter how fast the lead was lost, there were too many mistakes made in our defensive part which is not usual from our team.

“Since we've been together we've been the team who conceded the least goals in this five or six months. There were some strange goals to concede and we didn't score enough with the opportunities we had.

The Herald: “In the end we give a lot of energy to our opponent and all credit to Ross County who defended with a big heart until the end. We need to see the opposition team don't get so much energy by being better with and without the ball. It is about communication, it is about positioning, it was a lot of things. We will discuss it tomorrow. 

“We need to continue what we've been doing and focus on ourselves and go every time hard to get three points. It starts on Wednesday when I want to see a better performance.”

READ MORERoss County 3 Rangers 2: Instant reaction to the burning issues

James Tavernier and his team mates were booed off the park by the travelling supporters – but they still applauded their fans for their backing during the painful and costly reverse.

Clement wants his charges to show the same attitude when they take to the field against Dundee on Wednesday evening.  

“It is already a big step forward that they went to the fans and showed their respect for everyone that travelled that far and it shows also how much respect there is from both sides,” he said.

“It is about standing up on Wednesday and taking three points. It is all about that. We have now been six months together. I have not seen a performance in these six months like I saw today so we have to take the good lessons out of that and react. Because they have shown enough times that they can do much better than they did today.”

Clement did not shake hands with his opposite number Don Cowie at the final whistle – but he sought out the Ross County manager after speaking his players and offered him his congratulations on the hosts’ display and win.

“I went inside directly but I will shake hands with him directly after, no problem,” he said. “I wanted to prepare really well what I had to say to the team. Nothing towards him, a lot of credit for him and what he has been doing here.”