Philippe Clement has spoken to the media ahead of the match with Dundee. Here is what he had to say.

How is Nico Raskin?

Not good enough to be in the squad for tomorrow. That is a downfall because he was doing good things and was taking steps. It is a pity but we need to find other solutions.

Is there a timescale?

I hope it is short term but it is not guaranteed towards the weekend. We will see in the next couple of days how these things evolve.

Is Tom Lawrence closer to being an option?

He is closer because he is training now but he is not yet fit enough to be in the squad.

How do you assess the importance of the two games this week?

This week, next week, next month, they are all big games. There are no easy games or games that you just throw away. I want an ambitious squad, I want people who are ambitious every day, not only in the games but in the training. There is totally no difference for me for this game or the next game or the last game.

Is Danilo ready to start?

It is a good question. We will see tomorrow. He is ready to play. We will see what is important in this game and if it is necessary that he starts or that he comes in. It depends on the opponent also, what profiles you need, the physical state of the players. He is not ready for 90 minutes, that is logical. That is the difficult thing for the moment. It is quite a puzzle, it is the biggest puzzle that I ever saw, to be honest, with all the injuries and players falling out. I need to say one thing more, John Souttar will also not be available for the game with a muscle problem. Not a big one but not available for the game. Until now, we started with a lot of players who are not available, some players falling out also in the last couple of weeks. It will be really important in every game to look at that and the minutes of every player to try and build their physical condition, their robustness in the next couple of weeks, couple of months, to have a bigger squad available.

Can you put your finger on why there are so many injuries?

Yes, but not for you guys.

Is it something you are addressing internally?

Of course.

On Danilo, how big a player can he be for you here?

I don’t believe in those things that you can say ‘OK, he can grow to that level’ because there are players who always surprise you and that go beyond that level. There are also players that never reach that level. It is our responsibility – me, the staff, everybody – to give them all the tools to become the best players that they can be in every sense – physically, technically, tactically, mentally – and to work with them really hard every day to let them make progression. Then it is about players taking these tools and using them. That is what we are going to do, like in the other clubs also, and it is about players taking their own responsibility. He is a young player with potential to grow, that is for sure.

Will your changes to make the players fitter have a short term impact?

This is the work that is never short term. It is impossible. Or you need to use things that are not allowed, and we are not planning to do that. Even then it doesn’t help because it is short term. That is a long term project, creating physical ability, creating players ready for 90 minutes every three days during months. That is not something you can create by two weeks training, nobody can do that. Same with robustness, same with building up muscles and making them stronger in general. It is work of longer term. Everybody in the club knows it is a really important part for the future of Rangers.

Have you been surprised by the condition of some of the players since you came in?

Next question please.

How important is it for you to try and address that?

Of course, but for the players also. I feel they are all motivated, also the staff, to do that, to work really hard, to become better. They showed also good physical things during these three games. But some can do it for the moment in that way, but not enough players to be competitive all the time. That is what we want to do. So, that is the job to do all together and we are going to do it.

Have you got to the bottom of Kemar Roofe’s problem?

We are still busy with that.

Do you have any indication how long he will be out for?

Not for the moment. If it is long term or short term, we don’t know at the moment. We are busy with that assessment.

How frustrating is it for you to have so many players out?

I am not a coach who is going to turn around a problem. If there is a problem, it is my job to find solutions. I am focused on that. Sometimes the solutions can be something that is better than you thought of, sometimes you find a solution with a player that you didn’t expect before and he blossoms because he gets the chance that normally he wouldn’t get. I am focused totally on the fit players, on the players who are in the squad, who need to do the job against Dundee. We focus on that. Together with the club we are thinking about the players who are injured, what to do with them to get them back as fast as possible. And the players who are in the squad, I need to think how many minutes I can give them to let them grow in the next couple of weeks and couple of months.

Does it change your mind in terms of how many players you want in the transfer window?

No, it is much too early to talk about that. We still have two months to go. I hope in these two months we can make the squad much stronger.

What is Nico Raskin’s problem?

It was ankle. I am more talking like a doctor in this press conference than a manager. I prefer to talk about football also.

Sports science and the way you train are hugely important and it sounds like you want to bring something that you had at previous clubs to Rangers?

I think that is the story of every manager, that he has his own philosophy of working and how to bring fitness to players because it is a key part in football. It is not the only part, for sure, but it is key that your players are top athletes, if they are stronger than the other team then you have more chance for success. They need to play really well together and make the right choices and the structure needs to be clear. There are a lot of other things also but of course physical ability is a very important part in football.

How do you rate the ability of your own squad and the rest of the Scottish league?

That I am positively surprised about some players in the squad. That I saw less things in the games that they played in the games at the beginning of the season and I see the potential to grow. In general, the Scottish league, I knew it was a very competitive league and a lot of physical teams who are strong, with good organisation, a low block waiting for the transitions and set pieces. No surprises in that way.

How are preparations going for your first away game as manager?

OK, it is in the competition the first away game. We have been to Prague. For me, there is no difference between home games and away games. OK, we have the advantage of 50,000 really good fans in our home stadium but I don’t want to use that as an excuse in our away games when that is not the case that we can be less sharp or less ambitious. That is not a difference.

How important is it to build on Sunday?

Not only mentality, it is a lot of things, it is technically, tactically also to build. It is a pity that you lose players along the way because then you have to restart with others who step in who do it for the first time, for example. It is important but it is not game by game that the exam is there, it is in a few weeks, a few months how you see the team evolve. I know there will be bumps in the road, it will not be a story that only goes like that. It is never that way. We need to be ready also in the moment where we do this and then go up again. That is important.

How much confidence did Sunday give you that the league is still there for the taking?

I never talked about that. It is a good question to go around to get me to a certain answer. A good try. It is not the first time that happens. We are focused on ourselves. Game by game I don’t want anyone in this building thinking about what can be at the end of the road. I want everyone to focus on the road, stay on the road and make this road stronger and stronger that we can compete in every competition. That is the only focus this club and this team needs at the moment.

Is the connection between the players and the fans starting to repair?

For sure. Like I said, it is a two way street. We need to show our passion, give everything, wanting to do everything to get results and then the fans follow. That you saw at the weekend. The players gave everything, they kept on going. If you repeat this for a certain time you will get back credit in the bank for a certain moment. It is building up these things to not do it one time but do it several times. That is the task to do and then there can be an incredible energy and synergy in the stadium again. That, for me, was one of the reasons to come here because I saw this, how much power that can give. I believe also a lot in those things. It is one of the important things I want to recreate between the fans and players.

Is there any update on Kieran Dowell?

Kieran will be in the squad for tomorrow.