• Squad update
  • Why he won't hire a set-piece coach
  • Importance of Kemar Roofe
  • Why Jack Butland deserves England call
  • Why Scottish pitches need to improve

Philippe Clement has been speaking ahead of Rangers' trip to McDiarmid Park to face St Johnstone.

Here is everything he had to say.

Can you give us a squad update?

Rabbi (Matondo) has a small muscle issue, why he was changed at half time on Wednesday. He had a scan and will miss this game, I think he will be back short-term.

Other than that, is everything else okay?

Yes, the same players stay out. Only Leon Balogun comes back after we adjustments made to his mask. He can come into the side, that is something for me to decide.

How many more gears does your team have?

A lot. There is still much to become better. One thing is we have three new players who are just in the building, Fabio, a little bit longer so they need to get used to everything. How to play, how their teammates run, timings to do the right things together although they've already done a lot of good things and have stepped really fast into the story. But there's lot to improve there, we had a lot of players, at one point in December, injured and we have several players who've come out of a long-term injury so they're not at their top level at the moment. I don't have the feeling there is one player in this squad who is playing at their maximum and they cannot become better so there's still a lot of progression to make.

Are you expecting a tough game against St Johnstone?

Yeah, of course. The away games are always special. It's a different kind of surface than at Ibrox and teams are super motivated to play against Rangers because we know the longer you have series of games that you win the more your opponents are hungry to break that so it's going to be a hard game.

What do you make of the VAR incidents that the SFA got wrong?

Honestly, I haven't seen the list because it's the past. I've said to you guys already that I live in the present and the future. But it's good that there is some transparency and that of the faults that are made there is communication around it and we can learn lessons from that. That's the same for me if I make mistakes. It's very important for the game of football that there is transparency and that there is communication. It's important to have more communication between referees and managers around two times a season outside of the games. At the moment, the only communication is around games where all the tension is. It can be interesting to have good discussions about the game of football and the rules and things that happened with respect to clear up any misunderstandings. Everyone can have their view on things and we can come to a better product of football. I mean both sides so managers can talk about some things that happened in games that you understand why because we need to explain to our players why decisions are made. Also, the referees can speak about actions in the game and maybe about the behaviour of managers. I was a little bit too temperamental in the last game. I kicked a bottle of water and I got a yellow card. I understood afterwards why I got a yellow card. If we can have open discussions around that, we, as managers, can also learn.

Is it something that happened in previous countries where you managed?

We did it in Belgium, once or twice and it was really interesting because it's a different relationship. With the games, there is always a lot of tension and everybody is really focused on their job but I think it's important to have good communication with each other, sometimes in a different way. I think it can be something that can be interesting for Scottish football and for the product of football.

What do you think of the standard of playing surfaces in Scotland?

There's still some work to do. You see in all of the top leagues that there are really high standards now because football is a product and we are in the entertainment sector. The better the product is the more it's worth. You see where the best pitches are in the best competitions, the Premier League is a big example. The standards from the federation is really high towards the pitches. It's also the better football you give, the more money you get from television because people will want to watch it more than when the ball bounces three times every pass you make because you don't have a good product. It's an important thing to raise the standards in that way. I think there are a few pitches in Scotland that don't have the quality that teams want. For example, at St Mirren, I heard this from the people themselves, they were not happy with the pitch because they wanted to play better football but it wasn't possible. It's something to invest in. It will make the product of football better and Scottish football better also.

Does it surprise you clubs have not been investing enough? 

I do not want to go into that discussion because that is not my role. My role is to oversee what happens here. If you ask me a question, I can give my opinion about things, but it is not my role to say what other teams need to do. I think there are other people in the country to do that. 

Obviously, you are respectful of every opponent you play but at what point will you begin to consider goals scored, goal difference etc? 

Not until the last game. I ask my players to score as many goals as possible in every game. It is not like we score three goals and then I say, “guys that is enough”. I have pushed that from the first day and you saw that on the first day as we scored four goals against Hibernian. I want them to be ambitious from the first second till the last and take the maximum from every game. There is no difference in our approach now compared to four months ago. I always want to take the most out of the game and the best out of the game. 

Are you satisfied with your set pieces at the moment?

 It is an interesting question as I have been looking deeper into that this week and I had a feeling we did not create enough [against Ross County] but if you see the data up to now we are doing quite well but we have only performed scoring goals because we hit the crossbar a few times and the goalkeeper made some really good saves so the goalkeepers have overperformed against us up to now in terms of the data if you speak about expected goals and things like that.

Can it be better?

Of course. It would be boring if it could not be better, so we are working on trying to do the right things. 

A number of teams have had success with a set-piece coach, is that something you might look at in the future?

No, because I love set pieces and that is a thing of the past but is also a reason, I think I played a lot of games as I scored a lot of goals from set pieces so I will not give away that part. 

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How highly do you rate Jack Butland

As a manager I cannot say that much as I have not been managing that long. It is only my seventh season. As a player and manager/ assistant manager and all my other experience, I would say he is the best along with Simon Mignolet. That is the reality. If people are talking about him being in the England squad, that says enough I think as England will be one of the favourites for Euro 2024. He is a really top goalkeeper and a top personality. He and Simon are quite similar but with some different qualities. They are both leaders in a way with a lot of authority but also natural. I like both personalities. 

Would it be a fitting reward if he was recalled by Gareth Southgate?

 Yes, but as I said already that is up to someone else in Mr Southgate. He knows all the other goalkeepers, but I do not watch all those games so cannot make that comparison. All I can say is Jack is totally ready and that is what I see every day. He is a top-class goalkeeper. 

Update on Kemar Roofe? 

Not yet, as we are going step-by-step with him. He trained today for the first time but with the second team. We want him to come back in a good way. 

When will he be back?

 I do not want to put a timeframe on it because then I put pressure on the medical staff and Kemar. I want him to be 100 per cent fit when he is with me and before that he is working with them. Of course, he can be really important this season. 

Do you have to slow him down as much as the medical team? 

Yeah, it is about accomplishing this together and not doing stupid things