By Pete Hanson

18th Oct, 2023 | 7:10am

Celtic great Peter Grant in Rangers 'paralysed with fear' verdict, says what Philippe Clement has to do at Ibrox

Celtic great Peter Grant claimed Rangers players are “paralysed with fear” and new boss Philippe Clement must win the Scottish League Cup to lift the mood at Ibrox.

Belgian Clement was appointed as the successor to Michael Beale on Sunday (15 October) and takes over a side seven points adrift of fierce Glasgow rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

They do have a great chance to win the first trophy of the season, though, with Celtic already out of the League Cup, Rangers face a semi-final with Hearts on November 5 with the final slated for 17 December.

“He’s got to win it. It would give everybody a bit of a lift. They aren’t playing with confidence. The boys are paralysed with fear in every mistake they make,” Grant said in quotes reported in the print edition of the Daily Record (18 October, page 47).

“They’ve got to handle that pressure, dig in and keep digging in.”

Under no illusions

This feels like little more than sticking the boot in from Peter Grant, and probably a bit of bating given Rangers have – unquestionably- massively underperformed this season, hence why Michael Beale is out of a job.

Clement takes over in very difficult circumstances. He has a squad badly out of form, yet to gel after a big summer overhaul that saw nine players arrive, and rivals Celtic likely to only get better having not fully hit their own stride yet.

He will be under absolutely no illusions as the size of the task facing him at Ibrox but we, after all, still only in October, a lot can happen between now and May and we might be looking at things through a different lens in seven months.

One good point Grant does make is that winning that first piece of silverware in December. It would undoubtedly lift the mood at Ibrox, prove Clement’s credentials to win trophies, and set the foundations for the rest of the season. Let’s see how things play out.

In other Rangers news, Danilo has shared a message to supporters amid his injury comeback.