'There's no problem' - Rangers boss explains decision to sub Todd Cantwell after 35 minutes vs Aris Limassol
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Philippe Clement insists he has "no problem" with Todd Cantwell after the Rangers playmaker was substituted in the first-half of their 1-1 Europa League draw against Aris Limassol last night.
The former Norwich City star was hauled off in the 35th minute, moments after losing the ball in the build up to the Cypriots' shock opener at Ibrox. Cantwell was replaced by youngster Ross McCausland, who would later net a vital equaliser to keep their hopes of progression from the group stages in their own hands.
And Clement has defended his decision to hook Cantwell, who was clearly furious at the call as he trudged off the pitch before taking his frustrations out on the bench. The Belgian explained it was the player's inability to follow key orders and offer enough width by remaining out wide rather than opting to cut inside and take up a more central No.10 role that led to the early substitution.
"There’s no problem with Todd," Clement admitted post-match. "He did a good job in the last couple of weeks but today it was less good so another guy comes in. He did a job for the team and we are a team together. They are all important but they need to show they want to be in the team.
"It’s impossible to have everybody happy, all 28, because it’s 11 places. It’s the players who show in every training session and every game who will get the most chances. We didn’t create any depth on the right side. Todd was coming into the ball all the time and that was not the idea.
"Then we create an easy game for them and it’s what they like. I wanted to have more width on the right and create more actions behind their defence. It’s what Ross did in a good way and he also scored a goal.
"Ross is brave, he has good speed and finishing, as he showed. I understand people are frustrated at the result. We feel we just needed that one moment to win the game. But we have qualified for Europe for sure after the winter break and we still have a tough game at Betis where we can play for first place." Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd questioned Clement's decision, insisting Cantwell wasn't the worst player on the pitch. He stated: "Clement has had enough of Cantwell. He isn't messing about, I didn't think Cantwell was the worst player in the first 35 minutes but Clement isn't carrying any passengers."