Philippe Clement admits Rangers lacked sex appeal but boss sees the beauty in one part of ugly win

Philippe Clement admitted Rangers were short on sex appeal in Paisley but hailed the will to win that spared them another ugly title-race set-back.

The Ibrox outfit arrived for yesterday’s lunch-time kick-off looking to end a three-game run without a Premiership victory. They did that but only after allowing Mikael Mandron to quickly cancel out the first-half opener they got when St Mirren defender James Bolton bundled into his own net.

Cyriel Dessers’ 20th goal of the season was a thing of beauty as he nodded home a late winner from skipper James Tavernier’s sensational cross. But Clement confessed that was about the only attractive feature of his team’s performance. The big Belgian - whose side remain three points behind Celtic with four games left - said: “That they did what they needed to do and that is winning games. Was it our most sexy game? No. But it's also the circumstances and all respect to St Mirren also.

"They're aggressive, they're powerful in the duels, the pitch is also smaller and that creates more duels. We had to dig in, we knew that from before but the team did. We get the result. It is about taking the three points, and with a very good second goal also. Is winning by any means necessary all that matters? Of course. It is all season like that.

“Football is about the results in the end. Nobody remembers that we won 4-0 against Hibs in October with really good football, or other games. At the end it is about the points. We had a lot of good games like that but you need in a season games that you win with resilience or mentality or digging in together and fighting.

“There is not one team in the world who only wins games in a very beautiful way, like the team did already several times. For sure, not teams who win trophies. You need both and they showed the right mentality today. Now it's getting good recovery and working towards next weekend.”

Gers had to rely on Jack Butland at times, with the England Euros hopeful pulling off a string of vital saves as Saints chased their first top-flight win over the Light Blues for 12 years. Clement said: “We did the right things in moments. We didn’t do the right things in the beginning of the game and because of that we get their pressure and belief and hope.

“After the first 15 minutes then we took control of the game and we were much better. Then you are leading, then you get a goal against that we need to avoid and they believe again.

“The second half we were better, creating more, but Jack has also been really important in the first half. In the end it is important to take the three points to go home and to know that you have four finals to go in the league and it will be game by game, going full to get the three points.”

Tom Lawrence could have made the points safe in stoppage-time but the Ibrox sub saw his goal-bound effort booted clear by Alex Gogic’s astonishing clearance. Clement said: “I think Tom Lawrence was really unlucky with an amazing comeback of Gogic. All respect to him also for how he kept believing to save this ball on the line.

"If you score the third goal you have a different end to the game. There stays some excitement because every long ball there is a duel and a fight for second balls and again and again. I think you guys love that there is a lot of excitement until the end. In that way, Gogic helped you guys!”

Dessers has often found himself singled out as the whipping boy for Gers’ shortcomings this season but he was clinical when the chance to bring up his latest milestone arrived with 16 minutes left. His boss said: “He's working really hard for the team, he's giving everything.

“He changed the situation himself in a really good way. If I hear what the fans are singing now or six months ago, there are different songs. But he deserves it because he's been working really hard to help the team.

“Then the moments come and the situations come to be decisive in that position. It was again a really good finish today and a good cross from Tav also.”