Philippe Clement was facing the possibility of more injury woes after Connor Goldson pulled up in Rangers’ 2-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park.

The boss was without Nico Raskin, Tom Lawrence, Ryan Jack, Borna Barisic, Ben Davies, John Lundstram, Kemar Roofe, Jose Cifuentes and Danilo for the trip to Lanarkshire.

Early goals from Kieran Dowell and Todd Cantwell took the Light Blues to within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Celtic, with a game in hand, but veteran defender Goldson was replaced by John Souttar in the 86th minute and ahead of the home game against Ross County on Wednesday before taking on Celtic at Parkhead on December 30.

Clement admitted he was a “little bit fed up” talking about injuries but on Goldson he said: “We will see tomorrow. He felt something at the end of the game but we will see tomorrow.

“We take it day by day what the situation is and what the fitness of the players is. It’s difficult to plan in advance so I’m living from day to day.

“For me, the most pleasing thing is that despite having nine injured players, the structure stays, with two players in midfield who are not used to playing there.

“You don’t see the difference. The team is really focused and concentrated to do the job together. Everybody knows what we are doing, we keep clean sheets and we keep winning games by being dominant.

“In the circumstances of today, we played a really good first half with good attacking football, two good goals, several good chances.

“In the second half, the wind was even harder and the difficulty was that it was really turning in the stadium. It was difficult to play the good quality that we want to bring.

“As long as there is a two-goal difference then the other team always feels it is in a game, and they fought and put a lot of balls in the box.

“We were really concentrated and good in the duels. I don’t think they had one shot on goal from the Motherwell side. We controlled the game well and we got three deserved points.”

Motherwell have now gone 15 games without a win and remain five points ahead of bottom side Livingston.

Boss Stuart Kettlewell believes his side should have had a penalty when Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers pulled Mika Biereth inside the box.

He said: “The two penalties, the one with Brodie Spencer (tackle by Ridvan Yilmaz) may have been a soft one.

“I think there is marginal contact so I am not so sure about that.

“The one that was brought to my attention was the pull on Mika Biereth’s arm at the back post. He looks favourite to get a touch on the ball.

“It is 2-0 and one goal helps us. Watching it back, I am seeing them given as penalties constantly. I think Rangers themselves have benefited from a number of things, incidents like that. my question is, are actually checking them.

“We keep getting told that they are being checked.

“I am not sure if that specific one has been checked. I would defy anyone to tell me if it has been checked then we are OK with it because I am watching every week and slight pulls on jerseys, a slight tug of the arm, results in a penalty.

“I will probably be told that there is some other obscure rule that is the reason why it wasn’t given but with the naked eye and a replay it looks as if it has to be a penalty.”

Rangers suffered another selection blow ahead of two crucial matches after Todd Cantwell was ruled out of the trip to Spain.

The former Norwich midfielder will not feature in the Europa League decider against Real Betis on Thursday because of personal reasons.

Manager Philippe Clement was already missing Ryan Jack, Tom Lawrence and Nico Raskin from his midfield through injury as Rangers chase the win they need to guarantee progress.

Clement experienced other bad news this week. Ecuador midfielder Jose Cifuentes lost his appeal against the red card he received against Dundee on Saturday, which rules him out of Sunday’s Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen through suspension.

And striker Danilo has been ruled out for several months with the knee injury he suffered in last Wednesday’s win over Hearts.

Clement said: “Todd is not here because of personal circumstances, and he wants to keep it personal, so we respect that. It’s nothing between the club and him, or me and him, it’s just family-wise.

“There’s a really big chance (he will be available for Sunday) but it’s not guaranteed.

“I hoped Ryan would be back but it’s not the case. Danilo will be out for several months, but I don’t want to pinpoint on an exact number of months for now until is all clear.

“I was surprised with the Cifuentes decision. None of the Dundee players reacted at the time. They just continued to attack as it was a duel with a contact. It is disappointing to lose the player for two games. But I don’t have any power in that so we will focus on the guys who are available.”

Clement is also without midfielder Kieran Dowell and defenders Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz, who are not in the club’s European squad.

“It’s quite a list of players injured and not on the European list. But it’s about the guys who are here,” he said. “They are here with ambition and to prove themselves as a team.

Rangers will go through to the knockout stages regardless of the result in Seville if Sparta Prague fail to beat Aris Limassol in Cyprus. But victory for the Czechs would leave Rangers needing to beat Betis to finish in the top two, a result which would seal top spot in Group C.

The Ibrox club are assured of European football beyond Christmas with third place sealing entry to the Conference League knockout stages.

Betis are unbeaten at home in LaLiga this season and have won both of their Group C games on home territory.

Clement said: “We have a lot of respect for them but we come here with ambition. Rangers have nothing to lose. We are in Europe next year but we want to make the next step. This may be the biggest challenge until now and we go all out for it.

“Real Betis is a different style than what we have faced. Real Madrid didn’t win here which shows how big a test it is but I feel something special in the group. I can see a really good dynamic growing in the dressing room. Everyone stays confident even after going behind.

“I see several players becoming better and better, we need to continue that story against a really good opponent.”

Meanwhile, Alex Rae has been confirmed as first-team coach on an ongoing basis after returning to Ibrox when Steven Davis took caretaker charge and staying on under Clement and assistant Stephan van der Heyden.

The former Gers midfielder told the club’s official website: “Everyone knows how much this club means to me and I am determined to help the gaffer and Stephan bring silverware back to Rangers.

“We are still in four competitions and we have a lot to look forward to this season.”

Ryan Jack will have Euro 2024 thoughts at the back of his mind until next summer after Scotland’s qualifiers concluded with a 3-3 draw against Norway.

Steve Clarke’s had already qualified for the tournament in Germany before the final two Group A games in Georgia and against the Norwegians at Hampden Park.

A 2-2 draw in Tbilisi on Thursday was followed by a thrilling match against Norway on Sunday, when the 31-year-old Rangers midfielder came on as a late substitute.

The draw will take place on December 2, after which the race will be on to make Clarke’s 23-man squad.

Jack said: “We all go back to our clubs. There is obviously a lot of football to be played, everyone will have a lot of big games to play from now to then.

“It is always at the back of your mind. You are never going to just forget what we have achieved.

“It is going to give everyone motivation to play well, to play consistently for their club and do everything we can to be part of it.

“It has been a great campaign. We qualified with a couple of games to spare and that has not been done for a long time.

“We wanted to go out with wins but at the start of the campaign the most important thing was qualifying and we did that.”

It was quite a final Group A game at Hampden where Aron Donnum fired the visitors ahead in the third minute before Scotland captain John McGinn levelled with a penalty 10 minutes later.

Striker Jorgen Larsen regained Norway’s lead before an own goal by Leo Ostigard had the Scots level again before half-time.

A fine strike by Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong had the home side ahead for the first time but that was cancelled out by a late header from Norway substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Scotland have lost only twice in total in their last two qualifying campaigns – to Spain last month and to Denmark in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which ended with Clarke’s side eventually missing out.

The Scots did make the previous Euros, albeit they could not emerge from their group which included England, Croatia and the Czech Republic.

But Jack believes that experience will be beneficial.

He said: “That (consistency) comes with belief and the confidence of getting results. The same core of the squad has been here since the last qualification.

“We are in a good place at the minute but we need to keep that going.

“We will be going to the tournament a lot more experienced and very optimistic.

“That (Euro 2020) will help. It probably didn’t go as well as we hoped so there will be a lot of reflection on that and what we think went wrong in that tournament and hopefully we can rectify that for this one.

“Hopefully the experience we have all had, the backroom staff, the players, will stand us in good stead for the next tournament.”

Philippe Clement thanked the Rangers supporters for backing their team in the 5-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park but asked them to leave the pyrotechnics at home in future.

The match was delayed by 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was held up in traffic and then suspended for 18 minutes after the travelling fans let off a large number of flares that triggered fire alarms under the stand.

Rangers were unaffected by either delay as they ran out comfortable winners thanks to goals from Ryan Jack, Danilo, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier.

Clement was pleased with his players’ focus but hoped there would not be future firework displays from the Rangers fanbase.

The Belgian said: “I expect a team that’s always ready no matter what happens, even if they say we have to play in the car park.

“We need to be ready because we play this game to win, so we must always be ready to adapt to the situations.

“The players were ready and after going inside again it was the same. Because you have five minutes in the dressing room it doesn’t mean you lose your focus.

“They need to be winners so whatever circumstances, whatever pitch, whatever weather, we are there to win games. That’s the mentality I want.

“I hope that the club does not face sanctions. You come here in the warm-up and the stand is full, everyone is chanting and supporting the players, giving a lot of energy.

“Those are very important things. We feel also the dynamic between fans and players is changing and it’s because of both sides.

“It was good the team started bright again, but I think everyone will understand that it’s really good to have all this support, all these songs and all this energy – I love it – but keep the fire outside of the stadium.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty admitted he thought the game was going to be abandoned when referee Kevin Clancy took the players off the pitch.

He said: “It was a bizarre night and at one stage I thought the game wasn’t going to go ahead. I was trying to keep the boys focused.

“Then we start the game and because of the pyros we get brought in again. There’s a debate on whether there’s a place for that but the game was almost abandoned.

“The police took control and I didn’t think we were going to go back out again. That affects focus. When it’s almost causing matches to be abandoned I think we need to address it.”

Rangers crushed Dundee 5-0 in a cinch Premiership match that was delayed due to traffic and then briefly suspended following flares in the away end.

Ryan Jack’s strike had the visitors in front at half-time before four goals after the break from Danilo, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and James Tavernier extended their unbeaten run under new manager Philippe Clement to three games.

Dundee offered little as an attacking force, with Amadou Bakayoko seeing his second-half effort well saved by Jack Butland.

Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was caught up in traffic congestion crossing the Tay Bridge.

Play was then suspended not long after kick-off for a further 18 minutes after flares lit by the visiting supporters set off fire alarms in the stand, with referee Kevin Clancy taking the players off the pitch.

Dundee made three changes following their win away to Livingston. In came Ricki Lamie, Bakayoko and Scott Tiffoney, with Jordan McGhee, Lyall Cameron and Zak Rudden dropping out.

Rangers, in turn, made four changes from the team that defeated Hearts. Out went Nicolas Raskin, Todd Cantwell, Ben Davies and Dessers, replaced by Jack, Leon Balogun, Scott Wright and Danilo.

Rangers started brightly when the game finally got going and Abdallah Sima slid a chance just wide after being played in by Ridvan Yilmaz.

The Light Blues, though, moved in front with their next attack. Balogun sent Danilo running in and when Trevor Carson spilled the Brazilian’s cross, Jack was on hand to sweep in the rebound.

Dundee replied through a Tiffoney cross that Balogun did well to head away from danger.

Carson partially redeemed for his error with a point-blank range save from Danilo, although the offside flag would likely have ruled the goal out in any case.

Malachi Boateng then had a go at the other end but Butland, in the Rangers goal, made a comfortable save.

Danilo ought to have put Rangers two in front early after the restart but, after doing well to create a shooting chance from a long ball, he blazed his effort well off target.

He was far more clinical after 51 minutes when the visitors doubled their lead. Sima teed him up and Danilo finished well beyond Carson into the far corner.

At the other end Butland pulled off a double save to deny first Luke McCowan and then Bakayoko as Dundee looked to narrow the deficit.

Instead it was Rangers who pulled away, scoring three more times.

Lammers claimed the first with a stunning long-range effort before teeing up Dessers who finished well despite Dundee protests for a foul in the build-up.

Tavernier claimed the fifth from the spot after Cameron was adjudged to have fouled Dessers.

Philippe Clement stated that he is “not Harry Potter” as he warned Rangers fans not to expect too much too soon against Hibernian on Saturday.

The 49-year-old Belgian took over as boss at Ibrox on Sunday following the departure of Michael Beale and inherited a seven-point gap between the Light Blues and cinch Premiership leaders Celtic.

Jose Cifuentes returned from international duty with Ecuador with a knock and Tom Lawrence and Rabbi Matondo remain out.

Midfielders Ryan Jack and Todd Cantwell are back in the squad although the latter, along with attacker Kemar Roofe, is not fit for 90 minutes. Brazilian striker Danilo, who is recovering from a severe facial injury, is available again.

The former Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco boss referenced Potter, the young wizard from novels written by British author JK Rowling, as he spoke about the visit of Hibs.

“I hope they see a difference but I am not Harry Potter with the magic stick who can change everything suddenly,” said Clement.

“It doesn’t work that way. It is a tough balance coming in during a season and it is not the first time, it was the same at Genk and Monaco.

“When you come in during the season you have to analyse what is good and what can be better and then prioritise the most important things to make better this week and the next week because if I try to do everything at one moment I kill the players.

“So it needs to be step by step. It is about analysing everything, the way I want to implement things.

“It is never perfect from the beginning. That is impossible but I see the good intentions, in staff and with the players, and the international players are now back in the last two days. I am looking forward to the first game and seeing how fast the little seeds we have planted will grow.

“I see a lot of good things here but a lot of things we need to make better and we need to focus on that now and make them better.

“I know a game is different from training, there is another atmosphere and tension so I don’t expect the perfect game tomorrow.

“I expect there will be things that go wrong but how you react at those moments is important and that they are open to learning and make it better and better.”

Stephan van der Heyden was earlier confirmed as Clement’s assistant.

The 54-year-old, who first worked with Clement in 2011 at Club Brugge, was most recently assistant at Kerala Blasters in India and has also coached in Belgium, Macedonia and Jordan.

Van der Heyden told the club’s official website: “I am looking forward to this challenge, it will be a big one but I think it is a great club.

“One of the most beautiful things about football is that you meet different people and different cultures, not only football culture but cultures in general.

“One thing in common is the supporters, they all expect the best from the team. The first impressions are good, I’m sure we can do something here and we can achieve something together.”

Ryan Jack insists the decision to sign a one-year extension to his contract at Rangers was a “no-brainer”.

The 31-year-old midfielder joined the Govan club from Aberdeen in 2017 and his new deal will see him into his seventh season at Ibrox.

Jack told the club’s official website: “I am obviously delighted with it, it has been in the background for a little while.

“I am delighted to get it done before the summer and I can go and focus over the off-season.

“I have played for the club for a number of years now, I love playing for the club and I love being here.

“I’m settled and my family are settled so when I initially spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay it was a no brainer.”

Manager Michael Beale said: “I am delighted Ryan has signed a contract extension with the club as we continue to work behind the scenes in preparation for next season.

“I have worked with Ryan for a number of years, both in my previous time with the club and more recently since I returned, and he is a fantastic midfielder and an important member of our squad.

“The quality and experience he has is invaluable for this group as we all look forward to an exciting summer and 2023-24 campaign.”

Rangers' players "let a lot of people down" with their performance in Wednesday's heavy Champions League defeat to Ajax, according to midfielder Ryan Jack.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side were on the end of a 4-0 loss in Amsterdam, four days on from going down to rivals Celtic by the same scoreline in the Scottish Premiership.

Ajax were three ahead inside 33 minutes thanks to goals from Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus, which Steven Bergwijn later added to.

That is the earliest Ajax have ever led by three goals in a Champions League game as they beat Rangers for a fifth time in five meetings in all competitions.

Jack was at fault for the fourth of the hosts' goals, with a terrible pass being intercepted, and accepts his side were simply not good enough at Johan Cruijff ArenA.

"We have let a lot of people down tonight," he told BT Sport. "We apologise to the fans who sacrificed to make this trip and support us. 

"We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves. The games are coming thick and fast and we have to pick ourselves up, stick together and go again.

"Obviously everyone's disappointed. All we can do is pick ourselves up because we have a massive game away to Aberdeen. 

"We know how tough a venue that will be, so on the back of the two 4-0 defeats it's important we pick ourselves up."

Rangers had seven of their 11 starters from May's Europa League final loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, but Van Bronckhorst made a triple change at half-time.

That led to an improved second-half showing, albeit with Ajax taking their foot off the gas prior to Bergwijn's late fourth.

Reflecting on a third defeat in 12 matches this season, Van Bronckhorst said: "The performance wasn't good. The players are committed. They want to fight and work hard. 

"But against an opponent like Ajax when you're not as organised as you should be it's going to be tough.

"You don't want to give space away against Ajax. We gave less space away in the second half because we played a little bit more defensively. 

"We should have stayed more in our zones in the first half. We didn't do that so well and, as I said, every mistake is punished."

Ajax reached the last-16 stage last season and have now won each of their past four group matches in the competition, their best-such run since December 1995 (also four).

"This was a beautiful evening for us," Ajax playmaker Dusan Tadic told RTL7. "It was a great win in front of our fans. The team spirit was very good. 

"There was a lot of movement in the squad and we often put pressure on Rangers. We played very well and managed to show our own football. 

"I played in a new position for the third game in a row, and there is always room for improvement, but I have played for the team and I am very happy with this victory."

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