Rangers 4-0 Hibernian: ‘Perfect debut but long way to go for Philippe Clement’21 October 2023
All eyes were on Ibrox as Philippe Clement embarked on his first outing in charge of Rangers after a hectic week since his arrival in Glasgow.
On paper, Hibernian appeared to be a real test given the lack of time the Belgian had to implement change and an opposition who were slowly showing signs of building a little momentum.
That notion quickly evaporated. It turned into the perfect debut for the 49-year-old - perhaps more than he could have wished for.
"I'm most happy that I saw synergy between players and the fans from the first minute," Clement told BBC Scotland. "That is one of the biggest strengths of this club - one that we need to have to win trophies."
Clement was, indeed, warmly received by a home support who are desperate for a reset from which they can rebuild. That fanbase left Ibrox undoubtedly impressed.
Two first-half goals were perfectly timed to ease Rangers on their way to victory.
Abdallah Sima's opener came early enough to extinguish any early anxiety and was the product of a player who is increasingly capitalising on his attributes.
The second from Nico Raskin, just before half-time, delivered a cushion from which Rangers could have scored more than the four they did earn.
Clement hogged the touchline throughout, encouraging his players even when things weren't coming off. He even seemed to interfere with play on the pitch early on, much to the ire of the opposition dugout, such was his enthusiasm.
The small seeds he said he'd planted in his squad did indeed seem to have impact. It was far from vintage, but there were promising signs in that the fundamentals were executed well, allowing quality to thrive and deliver a comprehensive win.
"The best teams in the world make mistakes - what is important is your reaction and our reaction was good," Clement said. "You see that, although it was only two days, the players want to do the things that we showed them.
"I saw what I wanted to see - to play dominant, attacking football with a good pressing game."
Two former Rangers players were equally enthused by the early evidence on offer.
"In your first game, it's just about getting the victory," former midfielder Lee McCulloch suggested. "They've played well. He asked for dominant attacking football and that's certainly what it was today.
"Albeit, in my opinion, it was a little bit of Hibs not being up to scratch. But Rangers, the players, the fans and the togetherness, yes, it was certainly there."
Former Ibrox striker Kenny Miller insisted the performance gives a platform on which to build.
"It's important the whole team takes confidence and belief as that is how they will move forward," he said.
"Clement has spoken about small steps and he can't change everything at once. Well, he's had a positive result today and a real positive performance. There was a real support coming from the stands.
"He needs the fans behind him and what it will take is performances. It's small steps forward.
"He got an energy back in this stadium and a belief that maybe this season things can be salvaged."
There's a long way to go on that front. However, in terms of an introduction, Clement more than delivered.
The people who will ultimately judge this appointment, the Rangers support, will no doubt be encouraged at this early stage.
This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/67184906?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA