Bristling Philippe Clement brands Celtic rival Brendan Rodgers 'disrespectful' as Rangers boss snaps back at 'fun' jab

Philippe Clement fired back at Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and told him Rangers are also up for some fun at Parkhead – as he branded his derby dug-out rival “disrespectful".

The bristling Belgian watched his side cut the gap on their fierce city foes to three points at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 4-1 win over 10-man Kilmarnock to set up a huge clash top of the table clash between the country’s giants.

Following a 3-0 win against Hearts on Saturday, Irishman Rodgers said his Celtic side and Parkhead would be “on fire” for the visit of Rangers, who haven’t won in the east end of Glasgow since 2020. But Clement hit back, saying: “I heard yesterday they are going to have fun. So we are going to have fun also. It’s not really respectful to my team. I will never say that about an opponent. Ok but we will see. I'm looking forward to it and as a manager I'd love for it to be tomorrow - although maybe that wouldn't be so good for my players! Six months ago we were seven points behind and now we are three points behind and we can come equal so the team has made a lot of steps and it's now about making the next step."

Philippe Clement -Credit:PA
Philippe Clement -Credit:PA

Rangers fell behind early on to a James Tavernier own goal but recovered to score through Fabio Silva, substitute Ben Davies, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar. On the performance, Clement said: "I don't know about improvement. It is a totally different game (against Celtic). We started really fast and we should have had a penalty for the handball. But VAR decides yes, and the referee decides not. So that's a knock at that moment, but we kept on going. That's what I want to see, a fast start and a team that's hungry to score goals.”

"There is a doubt over Leon Balogun for the derby after he went off at half time. Clement said: “It was an injury. We have no clue for the moment (if he'll be out next week). We will see tomorrow or the day after what the situation will be."