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Philippe Clement insists Rangers will go all out to secure Europa League spot

Rangers manager Philippe Clement looking towards Europa League group finale (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers manager Philippe Clement looking towards Europa League group finale (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Philippe Clement insists Rangers will be going all out to secure Europa League football against Real Betis after struggling to a 1-1 draw against Aris Limassol at Ibrox.

The Light Blues, who had suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to the Cypriot side on matchday two, struggled after falling behind after 28 minutes to a Shavy Babicka goal.

Clement replaced Todd Cantwell with 20-year-old Ross McCausland before the break and the young Northern Ireland international, who signed a new deal earlier in the week, levelled early in the second half with his first Gers goal.

Rangers moved on to eight points, one behind Real Betis whom they play in the final Group C game in Spain on December 14.

Sparta Prague are on seven points and Aris Limassol are on four and although a spot in the Europa Conference League is assured for the Light Blues, only a victory in Spain can guarantee progression in the Europa League.

Clement said: “We have everything to win there.

“We already have European football in the new year but we can also win the group.

“So for sure that is going to be the idea – to win the game and end the group in the right way.

“There are still a few weeks and I have time to think and see what the team situation is.”

The Belgian revealed he took Cantwell off to get more width into the team.

He said: “I had to make a change early, something I don’t like to do.

“But we were missing with width on our right side and missing running players in behind the defence there.

“I gave that message a few times to Todd but he kept coming into the ball all the time, so that’s why I made the change to put Ross in, who is more of that profile.

“Todd’s best position is elsewhere but we have been in the situation where we haven’t had a lot of players on the right side.

“Scott Wright was not available, and Ross [McCausland] is coming out of the academy and taking his first steps and he is not ready to shine every three days, and play every 90 minutes; that’s impossible.

“And Rabbi Matondo was injured. So we have had a lot of problems in the last couple of weeks. Players are coming back, but we have to work hard.

“I know Todd’s best position is as a number 10, or coming off the left side, so I’m really happy with him, what he has showed for the team in the last couple of weeks because he played that position, and he can play that position.”

Aris Limassol boss Aleksey Shpilevsky claimed the unbeaten double against the Glasgow giants was a “miracle” as he expressed disappointment at leaving with only a point which ends their European journey this season.

He said: “The fact that we are undefeated against this big team, it is like a miracle not only for Aris but for all of Cyprus.

“What the guys are doing, with our budget, with our conditions, perhaps you can show the guys our training pitch and what it looks like then you will laugh at this, that makes it absolutely amazing.

“We are very disappointed about the fact that we didn’t manage to win.

“It was possible. It was not the best game from our side but we didn’t allow too many chances for Rangers, the way it might be expected.

“It is always crazy and always upset to lose a goal like that and that’s why I am disappointed about a draw in Ibrox against an amazing club, amazing fans, amazing atmosphere but it was possible but we have to accept it.”