AS a self-confessed football obsessive, Philippe Clement does not allow himself much down time. Even when the Rangers manager is watching sport at home on television, he is attempting to glean information which can help him to achieve success. Netflix and chill? More like Netflix and championship challenge.

The Belgian admitted yesterday that he has drawn hope and inspiration in the wake of his side’s desperately disappointing and potentially costly cinch Premiership defeat to Ross County in Dingwall on Sunday from Together: Treble Winners – the new documentary about Manchester City’s trophy-laden 2022/23 season.

The reaction to a 3-2 loss which left the Ibrox club trailing top flight leaders Celtic, who have played a game more than them, by four points with six matches remaining has been predictably hysterical in Glasgow. For many onlookers, they have blown their chance of winning the Scottish title come May and of completing their own clean sweep of domestic silverware. 

Clement, who lifted three consecutive Pro-League titles in his homeland with Genk and then Club Brugge, knows from personal experience that a run-in can and very often does throw up surprise results and does not share that view. But his belief has certainly been reinforced by his choice of viewing in recent days.

Pep Guardiola’s expensively-assembled superstars won the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup last term. However, Together: Treble Winners shows that even the Etihad Stadium outfit, Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland et al, did not have things entirely their own way during their annus mirabilis.

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“I learn from everything,” said Clement at Auchenhowie yesterday after a final training session before the rescheduled Premiership match against Dundee at Dens Park this evening. “Every experience I have and everything I see I want to learn from. I like to watch other sports to see things I can use in football.

“And the most interesting thing from that Manchester City documentary was in the great season when they won the treble, you see they had up and down moments. They lost to teams, with all respect, like Southampton and Brentford. They got angry with themselves as top players being disappointed with themselves. They then picked up again.

The Herald: “Therefore you also see the down sides and that’s one of the things that’s part of this job and part of this life. It’s never only up the way. In the end, people only remember the good things after titles. But I’ve been on that road so many times.”

Clement added: “I have already won titles, but I can remember the difficult moments also. It’s interesting, we can one season at Brugge when I was a player when we became champions. The next season, the manager decided that every time we went on an away trip, he would show us the match on video on the bus to that same game the year before.

“And we would be sitting there on the bus, looking at the TV, thinking, ‘Wow!’ We were really not that good, not as good as we thought afterwards. That’s because when you win things you remember everything as being good.

“But football is never like that. It’s not 90 minutes of only good. Yes, that happens a few times in your career maybe. But good things come with bad moments. So you need to react in a good way if things go against you.

“This team has gone behind in several games, but we have come back with some spectacular comebacks. That’s with the right mentality so that’s what they need to show against Dundee.”

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Clement and his coaching staff have analysed what went wrong against Ross County in detail in the last few days and spoken to the Rangers players about the individual and collective improvements which they expect to see in their meeting with Dundee on Tayside this evening.

However, the Ibrox manager has not, much like his City counterpart Guardiola after a reverse, felt the need to read the riot act to his charges in the wake of their dire display in the Highlands.

The Herald: He has seen them respond positively to setbacks and defy their doubters on numerous occasions during the six months that he has spent in this country and is quietly confident they can do so again and resurrect their title challenge. 

“This is a really honest group,” he said. “Of course, they were really disappointed after Sunday. But they were also open. They knew themselves what they did wrong and it’s really important to have that open communication.

“They had it with me and the coaches, they had it together as a group, and there are now really eager to react in a good way tomorrow. They have showed already this season they have the quality to do that.

“That doesn’t mean there is a guarantee, because it’s about doing it. Just because you have the quality, it doesn’t mean you automatically do it. So they need to be focused for this game and keep the structure and organisation. But they are convinced about that so I have zero doubts it will happen tomorrow. I feel they will have a good game.”

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Clement continued: “I saw where they were in October. They were on the floor. But I have seen what they have done in all this time and how many points they have taken. In that period they have taken the most points of any team in the league. Let’s not forget that after just one game.

“So, yes, the character is there. It’s just about showing it again and repeating it again. It’s about showing that hunger again desire again.

“The older you become the faster you can switch again because you know it is a waste of energy to stay negative. It is about how you react. You need to have positive energy, you need to be strong, you need to have belief, you need to have confidence. So that’s experience in life.”