Rangers Mr Reliable will never let them down but it's time for Clement to unleash him where he'll REALLY thrive - Kenny Miller

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)


Philippe Clement has a player in Dujon Sterling who can fill in a number of positions really well and NEVER let you down.

And for Sterling to do that at the age of 24, in his first season dealing with the demands of playing for Rangers, is impressive. The guy is a guaranteed ‘seven out of ten’ at least every week – no matter where he’s been played. On Sunday, Sterling was so effective again. But he’s not a right winger and I do not envisage him playing that position too often next season.

Because if Rangers are going into a cup final, a league decider, the start of next season or whatever, the team needs to have a right-winger playing right wing. That’s what needs addressed. And Sterling can then be the best player possible in the best position for his best attributes. After being here a year, it’s important he is settled and able to prove himself a top-class player where he’s most comfortable. That might well be right-back.

Could he be the potential answer there if James Tavernier is sold? Maybe Clement has got his replacement right there in Sterling ...

And that gives the boy more of an opportunity to build on a good first season. It’s unfair that he’s gone in at left-back, right centre-back like the last Old Firm game, central midfield in the League Cup Final and Real Betis. He’s also been deployed on both flanks of an attacking three! Fair play to him.

Sterling was definitely a positive in Rangers’ performance yesterday and I agree with boss Clement that it was their best display against Celtic in his tenure. Rangers made it the game it needed to be for them to have the best opportunity of winning. They needed to be aggressive and fight in a scrappy game, disrupt the flow and not fall behind like in the previous meetings.

In terms of that aim, it was working. There was nothing between the sides over the course of 90 minutes and barely a chance at either end. For next season, however, Clement will be looking at how Rangers can get more control in the derby and impose themselves more.

I felt Mo Diomande had his best all-round match against Celtic and that augurs well for next season when his deal is set to become permanent. He looked a little lost in the two derbies prior to this so hopefully it’s a sign he’s growing and learning.

Out there in the thick of a cup final he was aggressive and took the game to Celtic, breaking up their game. And he showed the legs and energy to carry the fight in an attacking sense.

His determination, work ethic and hunger are excellent but he also showed quality. Can he build on this experience after five months as a Rangers player? It’s hard to go down that road – we were saying similar things about Nico Raskin and Todd Cantwell last season.

While there might still be positives, I don’t think either had the kind of season we expected given how well they finished a year ago. You’d like to hope Diomande is more ready for what the Scottish game brings. We’ve not seen a lot of Raskin under Clement but it was a decent display from him at Hampden.

The debate was him or John Lundstram and I felt it was correct going with Raskin who grew into the game. It was a clear push from him on Joe Hart, though. You won’t get away with that now VAR is around. It was probably the right call.

After an hour Rangers were looking more likely to score. But it was a tie decided on one mistake that was punished and the timing gave Rangers little chance to respond.

Cup finals can be lost on such fine margins. Had Rangers won, there would STILL be big changes at Ibrox. They had five goes at Celtic in 2023/24 and just couldn’t manage to get the better of them.

Clement will know what he wants. And they need more quality in that final third – that’s been missing all season. That forward line needs to be improved – and it will be Clement’s key focus.