By James Murray

19th Oct, 2023 | 4:10pm

John Hartson blasts James Bisgrove comments after appointing Philippe Clement as new Rangers manager

John Hartson has blasted James Bisgrove for his comments following the appointment of Philippe Clement as the new Rangers manager.

Speaking in the press conference unveiling the Gers boss on Tuesday (17 October), the chief executive said the club have done their “due diligence” when appointing the Belgian.

But speaking on The Go Radio Football Show on Wednesday (18 October, 48:06), Hartson claimed the same thing was said when Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Michael Beale were handed the reins, with the pair both only lasting a year at Ibrox.

“What Mr Bisgrove said there, we heard the same about Giovanni van Bronckhorst, ‘we have done our due diligence and feel he is the right man for the job’,” said Hartson. “With Michael Beale ‘we have done our due diligence, we backed him and bought 10 players under his reign, we get behind the manager’ and they are saying the exact same thing. 

“What I would say is, I am nowhere near writing this guy off (Philippe Clement). But what he has to do is play really, really good football and he has to topple Celtic. If he doesn’t, like Beale tried and Giovanni van Bronckhorst tried, I know the Rangers fans are all excited. Excellent, they have a new man in the door. They are going to back him. 

“But they will only back him if you win here in Glasgow. You can’t say ‘we have a long-term plan’. The only time you have a long-term plan is if you are winning and are really successful at the club.”

Hit the ground running

It’s extremely important that Clement hits the ground running and picks up a few wins to get everyone behind him at Rangers.

The Belgian has come in and inherited a group of players that are short on confidence as well as several that haven’t looked up to the required standard after coming through the door at Ibrox over the summer.

The Gers can’t afford for this appointment to go the same way as the previous two managers, so they have rightly taken their time and believe they have the right man in place to get them back on track.

But the new boss does have a difficult task on his hands in trying to get the Light Blues back into the SPFL title race after they have lost three games already this season.

He will have been working hard on the training ground over the past couple of days to inject some confidence into the players and work out who he can rely on to play in his team moving forward.

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton has shared an “absolutely massive” opportunity for Clement at Ibrox.