Rangers contract update as injury-plagued striker fired last-chance warning shot after Hibs absence

The Ibrox frontman was a notable absentee from Rangers' matchday squad in Saturday's 3-1 Premiership win over Hibs at Ibrox.
Rangers' striker Kemar Roofe vies with Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis during a Europa League last-16 clashRangers' striker Kemar Roofe vies with Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis during a Europa League last-16 clash
Rangers' striker Kemar Roofe vies with Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis during a Europa League last-16 clash

Rangers manager Philippe Clement has informed Kemar Roofe he needs to raise his levels in training if he's to force his way back into the reckoning for a first-team starting berth.

The injury-plagued striker, who is entering the final months of his lucrative Ibrox contract, has endured another hugely frustrating campaign on the treatment table, managing just a handful of appearances since the turn of the year despite being fit and available for selection.

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The 31-year-old was surprisingly left out of Saturday's matchday squad to face Hibs at Ibrox by Clement, and the Belgian boss explained it served as a reminder that the Jamaican international faces strong competition to even be included on the bench with key players now returning from injury.


While acknowledging he is pleased to have ex-Anderlecht talisman Roofe back in contention, Clement insists he must continue to prove his quality in training to play a major role between now and the end of the season.

"He's always been a natural goalscorer," Clement admitted. "He's someone who's really hungry to score goals and who is really active in the box and who works hard for the team also. It was the same way in Belgium. He's getting better and better but of course he comes from a long way back. And there's competition.

"There are also other players so it's about him giving his best, which he has been doing in training, and raising his levels. He comes from far away because he hasn't played too many minutes this season. Is he close to being able to play 90 minutes? Physically yes but there's also competition from other players.

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"That way it's a positive thing. I start to get headaches again about making decisions. But it's only a positive thing for the club I think."

Roofe has scored only two goals in 20 outings so far this term and faces a fight to be involved in this weekend's Old Firm title showdown with Celtic. However, Clement is aware of the talent he possess and his knack for scoring important goals at crucial times and admits he is looking forward to the day his squad reaches peak fitness.

He added: "Yes (it's good to have options) but now I want not only to get these possibilities but to have these possibilities for 90 minutes. That's the next step to take with these guys coming back. At the moment it's just watching and thinking 'OK this guy can play 20, this one can play 30, this one can play 45'. And then make a good mix to win games.

"So you want to come to a situation where you have positive choices with guys who can play 90 minutes. Then it's a real challenge for the players also to be in the exam."

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