Michael Stewart digs out Clement over 'disrespect' claim as he tells Rangers boss 'you're not on safe ground'

Michael Stewart has told Philippe Clement he is NOT on safe ground when it comes to talking about respect.

The Rangers boss fired back at Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and told him that the Light Blues are also up for some fun at Parkhead next weekend - as he branded the Hoops gaffer 'disrespectful' over his post-match comments after the league leaders' 3-0 Saturday triumph over Hearts. The 51-year-old said his troops and Celtic Park would be 'on fire' for the visit of their city rivals.

However, pundit Stewart slammed Belgian Clement as he went back to Rangers' defeat at Ross County and reminded the Ibrox gaffer he went straight down the tunnel without shaking hands with Don Cowie after their shock 3-2 defeat. He would later re-emerge to embrace the Staggies gaffer. Host Jonathan Sutherland reminded him of this fact and Stewart stated that is why he would offer him some 'leeway' but still insisted he is not on the safest of grounds to pass comment over 'respect'.

He told BBC Sportscene: "Look, I think what you can see is a bit of pressure and people react in different ways. I think Philippe Clement is correct in everything he has said in regards to when he walked into the building and were seven points behind but now it is only three. But I think it is better when somebody else is saying that rather than him trying to emphasise the point.

"And I don't think it is disrespectful when you listen to the way that Brendan Rodgers came out and said it. I like to give Philippe Clement a little bit of leeway but I don't think he is on safe ground when he is talking about respect. He didn't shake somebody's hand after a game only a few weeks ago. That was not respectful."

After host Sutherland pointed out he did shake hands eventually, Stewart continued: "That is why I am saying I like to give him leeway but he is still not on the safest of grounds to be passing comment about the comment there from Brendan Rodgers that I don't think was anything other than him talking about the game, and having a bit of fun and a bit of enjoyment in that fixture which they probably can now. Even though it is such a huge game. "

Speaking today following Rangers' 4-1 win over Kilmarnock, Clement said: “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."