While the Rangers support can be bursting with Jock Wallace’s pre-derby ‘battle fever’, Philippe Clement will be going through a well-worn routine of exercise and family as he looks to settle himself for the chaos to come on Sunday afternoon.

A quiet dinner with his loved ones has pre-match potential and work in the gym is a certainty.

It’s a ritual he once bypassed in his nascent managerial career, and soon regretted. It's a lesson the Belgian heeds. When Clement feels the pain, the burn, he feels refreshed and ready to go. The gym is his sanctuary, his “running away space”.

But don’t think the Rangers manager is looking to be diverted from his task of putting his team back at Scottish football’s summit by defeating Celtic at Ibrox.

“My head is also full with football. It is my life, it is my passion. I do not feel like the gym distracts me, just for me it helps. They say a good mind needs a good body.

"And I felt it before. There was a while when I forgot to do it. When I look back it was a mistake. It did not make a huge difference but still it did, so I took that lesson. That is the only thing. For the rest, football is always in my mind.

“For me the gym is the place where I can really free my mind and focus on that. And I feel better afterwards when it hurts, when it burns."

A natural leader with authority when he steps into a room, Clement has made managing Rangers look straightforward, no mean feat. His professional approach has impressed players, staff and the media enough that it feels like he’s been destined to take such a demanding and high-profile job.

Talk to the man himself and his story is less straightforward. Before he became a boss seven years ago with Waasland-Beveren in his native land, he intended his career to be spent cultivating Belgium’s next generation of stars.

“I started my career as U21 coach in Bruges,” he recalls. “I had just stopped my career as player to do that and I thought: I’m going to do that for the next 30 years. It’s my passion to develop young guys.

“To give them the right tools to make them better and also in that moment there was no history with young players developing from second team into the first team at Bruges.

“Although they always had some good talents and players in the national team in youth teams, the gap was too big. It was my challenge to make it smaller. So it started in that way. Then becoming assistant, getting more and more responsibility.

READ MORE: The €80m star Clement tutored and what his story means for Rangers

“The last year with Preud’homme they called me the main assistant that they call T2 in Belgium. They said I was T1 and a half because I was doing that much with Michel. When he stopped, I thought I didn’t want to do this role with someone else because we’d been working four years together and to have that responsibility with someone stepping into that football story, that I don’t like or that doesn’t suit me, I didn’t want to do that.

“I started as a manager, to write my own story. I felt that I wanted to write my own story then. So it’s been a natural development, like a snowball that becomes bigger and bigger and bigger the longer it’s rolling.”

Clement carries the air of a man in control of his environment, win or lose. An engineer by education, he gives off the distinct sense he creates a strong framework in which others can thrive.

Cold, calm professionalism from the athletes working under him seems to be a prerequisite of the job – but like everything - there had to be balance. While an Old Firm is often discussed as a fiery caldron where the throng of the crowd can entice players into moments of madness an opposite mindset of timidity can set in and is just as ineffective.

“I don’t want players on the pitch running around like they’re really calm or they are on Valium or something before the game," he jokes. " That’s not the idea. They need to be ready and be switched on but with a calm mind. It’s about being intense, good and sharp but always with an overview and focus and not losing their concentration.

“They have been doing that well now. You saw the difference in the Hibs game for the cup where despite the tackles and things going on we stayed calm and those experiences we take towards every game. We talk a lot about that, that it helps our football if we focus on ourselves.

“I speak to players individually every three days. And every game is different in our game plan because it depends on our opponents and how they are playing, so the players are used to do that also. It is not that we are doing the same thing; we change every game, special things to find space and create chances and avoid getting chances against us. In that way every game has its own identity. Like this game also.”

Coming up against an experienced and immensely successful Celtic coach in Brendan Rodgers will be a defining career challenge for both men. Fail and there's a guaranteed negative outcome to each of their employment prospects.  

The two barely know each other, but Clement is already immersed enough in the club’s culture to understand that's a situation unlikely to change. His relationship with Gordon Strachan goes back their time at Coventry City but, keen to respect attitudes in Glasgow, he will not have dinner with his old mentor who once acted as babysitter to his youngest child. So Brendan and he will remain at an eternal distance while their paths continue down the same road.

“Brendan and I don’t know each other really well personally. I met him at the Celtic game, of course, I know his career. I have a lot of respect for that and all the things that he has achieved.

“We met each other also at Hampden for the national team game Scotland against Northern Ireland. We saw each other spoke shortly about that. But I know in the city it’s complex.

“I even saw an interview with Gordon Strachan who was my gaffer and who I had a really good relationship with. And it’s not allowed here in Glasgow to have dinner together because his son is working in the coaching staff at Celtic.

“That’s a pity. I think you need to have this rivalry but outside it’s still a possibility for me but apparently in this city, not. And so, I adapt in that way. So I respect the city and I respect our fans. So we will keep it in the way it was.”