Philippe Clement working on 'shoestring' Rangers budget as Belgian faces colossal task if rival turns 'angry'

The Rangers boss takes on Benfica this week.The Rangers boss takes on Benfica this week.
The Rangers boss takes on Benfica this week.
An Ibrox icon insists that the Rangers task Clement faces is tougher than his.

Graeme Souness reckons Philippe Clement is working on a tight Rangers budget as the club prepares for a showdown with Benfica.

The former manager and Ibrox icon was part of the interview process that brought the ex-Monaco gaffer to Glasgow. He has the club top of the Premiership and is now aiming to move past Benfica and into the Europa League quarter-final stage.

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A first leg tie takes place this week before a return clash at Ibrox a week later. Souness was manager between 1986-91 and insists Clement's job is harder than the one he had.

Souness said: "When I was part of the interview process, when I see managers being interviewed, I put myself back in the dressing room as a player. Would he hold my attention? I am someone who would listen to him.

"He can express himself very well and the players would appear to like him very much. I think he is doing a fabulous job. It would be totally wrong for anyone to make a comparison between the job I got at Rangers and the one he has inherited.

"My job was a lot easier than his job. I had budgets to work with, he is working on a shoestring. We got some of the best players in British football to come up here because we had the money. Philippe doesn't have that. He is getting a tune out of a group players who were looking a pretty sorry bunch before he arrived."

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Souness was also manager of Benfica between 1997-1999. He claims that the game will be a tough ask for Rangers against a side hurting from defeats to Sporting Lisbon and Porto.

He added: "For Benfica, they will be hurting right now as they lost to Sporting their city rivals and then historically their biggest rivals, Porto. I think Rangers will be meeting a team that feel sorry for themselves or a team that are really angry and firing on all cylinders.

"Not easy going there. It's a giant of a football club, much loved in Portugal. Two fantastic years working there. They love their football. It is a special football club and they have to somehow keep the crowd quiet. Don't do anything daft in the first part of the game and see where the game takes them."

Graeme Souness was promoting Viaplay’s live and exclusive coverage of Celtic v Livingston and Hibernian v Rangers on Sunday. Viaplay is available to stream from or via your TV provider on Sky, Virgin TV and Amazon Prime as an add-on subscription.

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