The games are coming thick and fast for Philippe Clement. His first week at Ibrox was a whirlwind and the Belgian has little time to catch his breath now that the full focus is fixed on domestic matters once again.

It was a night of mixed emotions and conclusions as Rangers earned a goalless draw, and what could be a priceless point, against Sparta Prague. Now Clement has two fixtures with Hearts, with a trip to Dundee sandwiched in between, to prepare for as he seeks to keep the Premiership title race alive and move to within touching distance of his first silverware at Ibrox.

Rangers stayed over in the Czech Republic before flying back to Glasgow on Friday. A session on Saturday will see the preparations finalised for the visit of Steven Naismith’s side and there are plenty of questions for players, staff and supporters to chew over once again.

Injury issues still causing Clement concern

Clement addressed the situation with his walking wounded ahead of his first match in charge against Hibernian and offered an interesting insight into how much he is invested in that side of the game. He is a man for detail and one who will leave no stone unturned in every area.

On Friday, he confirmed that Borna Barisic was still a doubt for the training session the following day, never mind the visit of Hearts. Jose Cifuentes was in line to return at Auchenhowie but Dujon Sterling, Tom Lawrence and Rabbi Matondo remain sidelined. When asked where the latter two were in terms of their recoveries, he joked that they were ‘still in Glasgow!’.

There was no update on Kieran Dowell but the situation with Kemar Roofe was addressed in more detail. Once again, the news on the striker is not positive and Clement spoke about having to rebuild Roofe in the coming weeks after another cycle of him returning to fitness and then being crocked.

READ MORE: Philippe Clement has Rangers positives to take after Europa League tie

“We first need to make a really good assessment how to bring Kemar back in a way that he can be a long time back and not a short time,” Clement said. “Because that has been the case the last couple of months, to get him fit for games but then in between struggling. We need to get him really fit.”

On his day, Roofe is an accomplished striker for Rangers. Yet those occasions have been too few and far between over recent seasons. The clock is now ticking on his Ibrox contract and the same could well be the case for his career in Glasgow.

Assessing all aspects of the squad he inherited

Clement confirmed that Danilo is not yet ready to play for 90 minutes as he continues to recover from the serious facial injury he sustained against St Johnstone. That ambition could still be a few weeks away for the Brazilian.

“That is also an interesting question,” Clement said. “Of course, not now. He has been quite a while out, he didn’t play many 90 minutes in the last couple of months, or even the last year. He looked bright in the short period that he played [against Sparta]. It is about making him stronger that he can reach that level during 90 minutes.”

The host of injuries within the squad are not the only concern for Clement. If they were, there is every chance that he would not be in position after being asked to replace Michael Beale as boss.

The Belgian has previously laid out the four pillars that must be built to make Rangers a successful side. He was asked whether supporters had to accept that performances and results would fluctuate and insisted he wanted to make the journey as smooth as it could be. As part of that, every member of his squad will come under fresh scrutiny and one aspect quickly got supporters talking in the aftermath of his press conference.

“We are going to take the ride as straight as possible and go over the bumps,” Clement said. “That is my hope. We are going to work hard with the players, about their fitness, their recovery, their lifestyle, about what we need to do tactically.”

Souness return a positive for Ibrox boss

Clement is very much his own man and his own manager. If he does need someone to bounce ideas or issues off, though, then there are few better than Graeme Souness to have on the other end of the line.

Souness confirmed on talkSPORT this week that he is close to agreeing a return to Ibrox in a consultancy role. The title and the framework are still being deliberated over but the man who was at the forefront of the Revolution will now play a part for Rangers once again after assisting John Bennett and James Bisgrove during the process to appoint Beale’s successor.

“There is nothing that concerns me,” Clement said when asked about Souness returning to Ibrox. “We had a good talk in the interview, it was interesting also for me to get more info about the club and to make the decision.

"He is somebody who is passionate about the club. The other things are between him and the board to decide what or how. We will see. We had a good talk. We are both passionate people about football, we are both passionate about this club. That is never a problem.”

In that same interview earlier this week, Souness revealed that it was Frank Lampard that was his preferred choice as manager. Some fans have questioned why that information was made public on the airwaves and Clement bristled at a line of questioning on that topic.

“It is good, that is a good lesson for me now that I read everything that is said,” Clement said. “The things that is said, you put it in a different perspective.”

Looking ahead to potential January deals

Clement has no option but to work with what he has at present. The squad was assembled on Beale’s say-so over the summer and the Englishman’s replacement in the dugout still has more than two months of the campaign to navigate before he can start to put his stamp on it.

In time, it will become clearer what that process will look like. And, crucially, how much it will cost after around £13million was spent on a new-look forward line that is not providing value for money at Ibrox right now.

Clement was asked for his assessment of the group and stated that it can grow in terms of quality. He insisted that he is not going to settle on a set line-up each week and he wants to have as many options as possible to ensure that Rangers can compete in four competitions in the coming months.

“We need to work hard on that and in the next weeks and months we will make a good assessment to see what we need to do or not need to do in January, which positions we need to look for to make the squad better or not,” Clement said. “It is an open period for the players now, a white page, they get chances to show themselves. I am looking at it that way also.”

Every player has the platform but not every player will make the most of it. Each jersey, and each berth in the squad, must be up for grabs in this new era and Clement will have big calls to make sooner rather than later.

Assessing the challenge of facing Hearts

The Jambos head to Ibrox on the back of an Edinburgh derby draw and a tough afternoon at home to Celtic. On a day when Rangers would have hoped for a favour from Naismith’s side, their Old Firm rivals cruised to a comprehensive win that was a signal of intent in the title race.

All Clement can do between now and the next derby at Parkhead is keep the momentum ticking over in the Premiership and ensure the deficit doesn’t increase. Any points that are dropped are likely to be fatal to their chances of lifting the silverware and this certainly falls into the ‘must win’ category as he seeks to follow up the impressive 4-0 win over Hibernian with another Ibrox success.

READ MORE: Sparta Prague 0-0 Rangers: Instant analysis from Europa League draw

“That they want to come back after losing a game,” Clement said when asked what he expects from the visitors on Sunday. “They are now close to the top positions there. It is a short recovery after the game, so our focus is now on that and doing the right things in this game against Hearts.”

Clement picked out Lawrence Shankland as he assessed the Hearts squad. The Scotland striker spent time at Beerschot, the club where Clement started his playing career.

The win last weekend offered plenty of encouragement for Clement and the Ibrox crowd. Now the positives must be enhanced once again on the back of their Sparta stalemate.

“It is going to be a game where we want to be dominant,” Clement said. “They will play a transition game, they will count on set pieces. So we need to be on top of our game with and without the ball.”