Philippe Clement has been speaking ahead of the Europa League clash with Real Betis.

Here is everything he had to say.

Why hasn't Todd Cantwell travelled?

Todd is not here because of personal circumstances. And he wants to keep it personal. So we respect that. The positive thing to say about that is that it’s not something between him or the club, or me or him, it’s family-wise. It’s important that if players want to keep things private we are going to keep things private. Players are public figures for sure, but they have personal things in life that we need to respect also. There is a chance he could be available for Sunday, but it’s not guaranteed.”

Will Ryan Jack be available?

I hoped Ryan Jack would be back but it’s not the case. We will see on Sunday. The rest, you know. Tom Lawrence, Nico Raskin and Danilo. It’s quite a list and quite a list of players who are not on the European list. That’s what we know, but it’s about the guys who are here. The guys who are here are here with ambition, they want to prove themselves and to prove themselves as a team also.

A simple task ahead?

How many home games have they lost this season? If you say it’s simple, it’s not simple. Otherwise teams would have done it, good teams like Real Madrid. We have a lot of respect for them but we come here with ambition. It’s a game where Rangers have nothing to lose, we are in Europe after the New Year. But we come here with a big ambition because we want to make that next step as a group. I have given them several challenges over the past few weeks and almost every time the team passed the test. Now is the next one, maybe the biggest one we have faced. So we are going to go for it.

Will Sunday's game affect your team selection?

If all these players were fit I maybe would have had other thoughts. But it’s not the case because there are not many positions where we can make changes and keep the level of the Europa League.

Were you surprised that the Cifuentes appeal was upheld?

Clearly. I think it surprised everybody, maybe even the players of Dundee. If you look at back the image, and it’s sometimes frustrating as a manger, but if the referee gives a yellow card and after it becomes a red card then the next day you watch Match of the Day and see many more bad tackles that are yellow card. So that was strange. Then you see back the footage after the game where Jose has contact but because the player slides to meet him when he goes for the ball, if you look at the image there are five or six players of Dundee around him and there’s nobody - but nobody - reacts to the referee. Nothing. They just continue to attack because it was a duel. Yes, there was contact but not a big foul. So it’s disappointing to lose a player in the first half and to have to play with 10. But to then miss two more games, that’s a little bit too much for me. Ok, there are other people who decide and I don’t have any power in that. So I will focus on the guys available. I’m going to be really interested to see the next couple of months if these contacts happen and whether every time it is a red card.

Will Cifuentes play against Betis?

It’s a good question. Look at the list of midfielders that we’ve brought with us. There’s a good chance he’s going to play.

Do you need to put in your best performance to get a result?

Every game is different. This is a new game with a different style. Betis have a different style to Sparta and Aris, so every game has it’s own story. If a team like Real Madrid doesn’t win here, we don’t have to say that ‘we need to win here or it’s a disgrace’. No, it’s going to be a really big test but I feel something special in the group. I feel there is a really good dynamic. I’ve seen it the last few weeks and I see it growing in this dressing room and on the pitch. I saw it at the weekend too after going behind. Everybody stayed with confidence and played good football. We scored four good goals - although we only got three at the end of the game! We went with 10 but there was no doubt in the team. We didn’t give any more chances in the second half, we created good chances. There’s a really good dynamic and I see several players becoming better and better and we need to continue that story against a really good story. I want to thank Mr Pellegrini for his nice words about the club.  It’s clear Rangers is a club with a big history so this will be an interesting game. It’s two teams who want to play football, who have an attacking style. I think for sure it will be a good game for everyone to watch.  

Is Isco the danger man?

I know he used to play with Real Madrid. A few years we were with Brugge in Madrid and he was there.  He’s a good player, of course. But I don’t want to tell our plans to you, maybe you are the son of the coach! No, we’re not going to speak about plans for the game but for sure Isco is a very important player.  Not only for Betis, but he was important for Real and played good games in the Spanish national team. We know his qualities but he is not the only good player. They have several good players. 

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Did you expect to get the team playing this way so soon?

To be honest, I don’t know how long I have been here now. It feels like at least one year already. I’m not bothered about the past and the level of players they had before or whatever. It’s about now, it’s about the future and what the team is doing. I see a team who are working really hard, who are really focussed. On the flight over, I spoke to two players about individual actions, using video clips. Everyone is really, really focused on becoming better. This is a group where a lot of players still have potential to grow. I don’t see many players who are at their top yet. That’s interesting for a coach, to help them and guide them in that.

How long is Danilo out for?

I never give a timescale. I’ve been a player before, and I was lucky to be someone who healed really fast. I worked really hard to come back after injuries, but there were moments where the doctors said I would be back in eight weeks and I was back in four. I don’t think it’s good to put a timescale on it, but we need to be really clear and honest. I try as much as possible to give all the information. It will be several months, that’s for sure. He will not be back in January, but I don’t want to pinpoint the number of months.

Can you tell us about the appointment of your backroom staff?

It’s always interesting when you come into a club and have new staff. They had also not been working with the first team for too long. You need to see what their qualities are and how they do things, how they fit with yourself and the rest of the staff. We took the time to make these observations and I’m happy with the work. They are ambitious. With Brian, we had someone who came out of the academy and didn’t have the experience with the first team but who does really good structural work and understands the style of football we want to play. He’s also going to be the bridge to the academy which is a very important thing for me. We can write a story and develop the young players faster so that when they come into the first team it’s not as big a step as it was before. With Alex, we have someone who knows what it is to be a player for Rangers. All the things around it, how it is in the dressing room. He has experience at every level and he has done a really good job. Steph came with me, I knew his qualities, so it’s fair that he stays also. The three of them work really well together and Colin is also doing a really good job with Jack and the other goalkeepers. For me, there was no reason to look outside the club, although we did for a while. We spoke to some people to get to know them, and that was also really interesting. But for the moment, this is a really good staff.

Are you excited about a huge week ahead for the club?

I’m very excited but I’m also calm and focused. When you are too excited, you lose control, you lose overview. That cannot happen. The most important thing is that the players keep on doing what they are doing. Every week, every training session, if I repeat things that we did before.