By James Murray

19th Oct, 2023 | 9:10pm

John Hartson details early success Philippe Clement must achieve at Rangers as 'juggernaut' admission shared

Philippe Clement must win a cup at Rangers as soon as he can as it would provide the club with a “big lift”, according to John Hartson.

Speaking on The Go Radio Football Show on Wednesday (18 October, 41:46), the pundit said claiming a trophy early on would provide the fans with a “boost” and it would be “great” for the Belgian and his staff, with the Gers facing Hearts in the semi-finals of the Viaplay Cup on 5 November.

But he added that the Light Blues are up against a “juggernaut” in Celtic in the SPFL, with the Hoops currently holding a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

“This guy is going to want to bring in his own players,” said Hartson. “He can’t really do that now until January. They are up against a juggernaut in Celtic in terms of the Scottish Premiership. On a crest of a wave, good players, going to add more good players.

“In all fairness, he’s saying the right things, you would expect a new manager to say that anyway. He’s talking about ‘we’ll have 50,000’, they’ve had 50,000 for the last 20 years Rangers. That doesn’t change, the crowd will be there.

“What he needs to do is win a cup as soon as he can and he needs to get a structure within the club. If they win a cup, that will give the club a big lift. That will obviously boost the supporters and it’ll show Philippe Clement that he can possibly win a cup – it would be great for him and his staff.”

Have to win it

There is no doubt about it, Clement simply has to find a way to get his side firing early on and deliver the Viaplay Cup in December.

It would be the first time Rangers have won the trophy since 2011 and would quickly get the fans onside with the new boss at Ibrox.

But they have to overcome Hearts in the semi-finals at Hampden Park first and that might not be an easy game, with the Gers manager hoping to build up a bit of momentum ahead of that fixture over the next few weeks.

The biggest test will be trying to overhaul the seven-point gap Celtic have built up at the top of the table, while also looking to put the Light Blues in a position to make a serious challenge for the league title every season.

It certainly won’t be an easy job, but Clement knows exactly what he is walking into and what the immediate expectations will be of him.

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