• Responding to Sterling's 'belief' claims after Dundee draw
  • Insight into his mentality and living in the Ibrox goldfish bowl
  • Updates on Ridvan and Diomande ahead of Hampden

Philippe Clement has spoken to the media ahead of the Scottish Cup semi with Hearts. Here is every word the Rangers manager said.

How are you feeling heading into the semi-final?

Excited. It's always exciting to play a semi-final, to be close to a final, to play at Hampden - we had a good experience there and you're two games away from a trophy. Everybody is really excited about that.

How is the mood in the dressing room?

Hungry. Desire to have a new game to prove themselves and that's what I expect also.

What did you think of Dujon Sterling's assessment?

Nick's (Thomson) just told me because I don't read everything. It's words of a player who's disappointed because we lost points who maybe lacks a little bit of experience in that way. If I see Virgil van Dijk giving a press interview yesterday after the game, it's totally different and that's the way it should be. Those are things for young players to learn and to become better. It's more talking out of frustration but I know we can count on Dujon on the field with what he's done in the last couple of months, the moments he was fit. That's not been the case enough for me. We will work with him on that.

Do you stand by your comments after the Dundee game?

It was more positive than the Ross County game, for sure. There were a lot of elements that were much better. You need to also give credit to Dundee with the way they defended. They kept on defending and they kept on running back with a lot of numbers. Dundee is normally a team that gets a lot of chances and a lot of shots on target. They didn't manage to do that in this game so that proves we did something right. But we didn't get the result and we could've done several things better so we're going to work on that to get better. This game we've had some players coming back out of injury the last couple of weeks, we know that story. I said at the beginning, it's impossible if you've been out for two months that you are the star in the first game. I saw that yesterday with players like Jota coming back out of an injury. So those are all normal things but you need to grab those moments in those circumstances to get the points that we didn't do. In that way, Dundee, for me, was a much different game than Ross County.

Have you noticed the belief and confidence levels dipping recently?

It is always, of course, if you win ten games in a row you have more belief than if you lose two times. But this is Rangers. This is a club where you always need to fight and every point you lose it is like you are going through hell. That is this world and that is good, that is also the challenge. It is now interesting to see which players can live in that way. It is an exciting place to be because on the other side you can go also to heaven, when you win games and win trophies. In other teams where it is not so important to win points or it is not something dramatic when you lose points, you cannot go to heaven also because those are not clubs that wins trophies. This is something you need to embrace.

If there are fans who have lost belief in this side what would you say to them?

The same thing I said in October. I think this team in October didn’t prove that much in results, in attitude, in resilience. In several months, they proved it several times. It is there, they can do it. They showed it, not only one time to be lucky. They showed it several times with quality. That is what they need to do again. Yes, my belief is there two hundred per cent.

How is the squad for Sunday?

Diomande will be available. Ridvan is still a question mark.

How do you cope with criticism?

I know it is part of the job. It is like that. I have been more than 30 years in this world and I have been buried a lot of times as a player and as a manager. I know what I am doing in a club, I know what I am doing in this club and we are in the right road together. We had some bumps along the road and a lot of things had to do with injuries that we had in the squad. We made a good assessment in the club about that, how to avoid it in the future. That will make things better and easier and now it is about taking the maximum out of the situation now. It is a growing situation. Kemar Roofe played his first minutes in how many months? Abda came back after an injury of two, three months and he was important in this game, just not scoring. That is a little bit of rhythm that you miss. Tom Lawrence didn’t play that many minutes in one game from October, Kieran Dowell came back out of an injury. A lot of stories. Dio will be back now. We will grow again in the next couple of weeks and it is about keeping the same resilience in the game and the same mentality that they had before to show their quality on the pitch and taking the points.

Have you felt this intensity before as a manager?

Yes, in Club Brugge it is the same. Only winning, only becoming champion is the only thing that counts. I have been like that all my life. There is nobody that can be more critical than me because I want to win everything. Everybody who knows me from when I was a child, if it was playing basketball or tennis or table tennis or whatever sport, I want to win. I made  a lot of fights with my wife about that, I wanted that mentality with my children. I did it with them also. If I played a game with them and they were three-years-old, I wanted to win. I don’t give anything. That is the mentality that is necessary in clubs like this. But like I said, you need to embrace that. It is also because of that you can be successful and you can win trophies and have these exciting moments that will stay there for the rest of your lives. That is what Rangers is about, I know that really well, and that is why I love to be here also.

Do you learn more about your players in times of adversity?

Of course. It is easy to be good and be happy when it goes easy. It is when the going gets tough you see the personality and the character. Players can grow in this. It is a growing experience. It is not only from nature that you have this, you can grow in that. That is an important part of being part of this club. It is also something that Nils knows really well, it is something to look at in recruitment also.

Hearts are a team on the up so how do you counter that?

I don’t counter anything. We will play our own game, we don’t need to counter another team. We are going to play our own game and believe in ourselves and show our qualities.

Does the performance need to go up a level again?

Of course. To win yo need a better performance than Wednesday. The question was, was the performance better than Ross County and yes it was. We need a better one now to go to the final. We need to take the right lessons and do the right things against Hearts who have played a really good season. It’s an interesting test for the players and I know they are all hungry to go to the final. They have the experience of going to the final and win it. Several of them have won already so the hunger is big.

Narrative is that this group of players have fallen short...

It’s really strange to say that because this group of players have been together for nine months now. So people can talk a lot about the past but it’s a group sport. If you speak about individual sports then maybe you make outcomes like that. But you are always part of a group, always dependable on other people and other players around you. So you can never make assessments like that. There are really good players who maybe never win anything because they were at the wrong club. In that way all the players are here and know they are in the right club because this is a club that can achieve things. It’s about taking the right moment.

What does Nico Raskin have to do to get a start?

Keep on doing what he’s been doing - working hard. We also had in Dio someone in his position who has done really well. Tom Lawrence and Kieran Dowell have come out of injuries and were doing well also. Nico also. So it’s tough choices to make in that position. Other positions tough choices to make because it’s more difficult to find people who are in good form or really pushing in that way. On the midfield there’s a hard battle for positions.

Players looked a wee bit more nervous? How do you stop bad habits?

Against Dundee we were too direct so we lost the balance in that way. Sometimes we wanted to play too fast and it’s finding that good balance by showing it with images and what we need to do and take lessons out of that. Maybe the hunger was too big to go too fast forward. We need to find a good balance and do that in a better way against Hearts.