Philippe Clement has learned quickly that life in Glasgow as manager of Rangers, or indeed Celtic, is marked by extremes.

Right now, having dragged Rangers up by the bootstraps and right into the heart of a title race, he is loved by one half of the city. The other half, predictably, haven’t been shy in showing him exactly what they think of him either.

Thankfully, the Belgian is a master at retaining his focus on the task at hand, and whether it be abusive Celtic punters or well-meaning Rangers fans that want a slice of him, he is adept at putting on the blinkers.

It is one of the great managerial cliches that they avoid watching opposition matches or following the results of their direct rivals too closely, but that is another thing that Clement has mastered by instead lasering in on his strict fitness regime.

Clement will be 50 on Friday, but he has rediscovered his passion for exercise since coming to Scotland, something which aids his clarity of thought while also giving him a distraction from what might be going on elsewhere.

Take, for instance, one Sunday a few weeks back when Celtic played Motherwell at Fir Park a day after Rangers had demolished Hearts at Ibrox. The Steelmen were holding the champions at 1-1 until stoppage time, but Clement was trying – not altogether successfully – to keep his focus on his fitness programme.

“I was in the gym,” Clement said.

“Though, people would come and try to show me what the result is, and I had to tell them ‘I’m not looking, I’m doing my gym now!’ “So, no, I’m not watching those games, not before us or after us.

“I watch all the games, all the highlights of the games, and I look at opponents before we play them. But I’m not sitting at home watching Celtic or Hearts or whatever.

“I forgot that part [staying fit] after my career. I was working really hard in the beginning as an assistant, and also if there was a player injured or something then the coach would use me as an extra player.

“I did that for a few years until I got too much pain in my hip, and I had an operation, and afterwards it was too dangerous to take those risks. So, I didn’t do it anymore, and in all of the work I forgot myself and I didn’t do almost anything anymore until this period.

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“From July until I came here, I had much more time, and I started to do sport again. I just felt, that is my life, and for my body and my mind it is also much better.

“Sport has always been my passion, so now I have the gym, or it could also be one hour of running or something. Those are the moments I can really relax and enjoy. For me, it is a really enjoyable moment.”

Clement would like to see a little more of the country he now calls home, as his assistant manager Stephan Van Der Heyden has been, but knows that his profile makes that difficult, something he is reminded of whenever he does venture out.

“It’s a different role,” he said.

“We’ve been assistants before together with (Michel) Preud’homme, and back then I could also do more things. Now I can’t, but I don’t regret it. It’s my life, it’s my passion, it’s what I chose.

“There’s a difference between being a manager and an assistant, that’s normal. Not all the time [are people respectful], but not major things. The worst thing is that you get the middle finger from people or something, but I don’t mind!

“I would not recommend it to my children but if people feel better doing that then it’s their thing. It’s not my problem.”

Except of course, when he is in the company of his wife, though he says Mrs Clement can handle herself.

“Yeah, but I feel the difference when she is with me, people keep more distance,” he laughed.

“So, I keep her close!”

Any hassle that Clement has had on the street has been more than offset by the adulation he has received from the Rangers support, with the synergy between the team, the Ibrox crowd and the dugout a factor that he continually references when explaining their upturn in fortunes.

And he is determined to repay that support by delivering what every one of them craves, a Premiership title party at Ibrox come mid-May.

“There is a lot of love from both sides,” he said.

“I love them also, and I told you guys, this is what I missed. To have this support and this energy, the atmosphere in the stadium is brilliant.

“People are supporting the team all the time, and you also see the interactivity between the players and fans in emotions and in moments.

“That’s why I love this job. To see these things, to feel these things. It is about that.

“So, I am really fulfilled for the moment in that way, but I want to give the people more and to get one moment to get a really big explosion together. I think it can be amazing.”