It is one thing to believe that you are a winner. Indeed, it is often easier said than done. The challenge for Rangers is to prove that they are winners. In that sense, their actions will speak louder than their words.

There are few within the Ibrox squad that have an impressive hand to play when it comes to a game of ‘show us your medals’. Some have won more than others, but it is the man that leads the dressing room that has the track record to back up his mindset and his messages. Philippe Clement won’t hark back to those past glories, and he will not look further than he has to as he works towards his next.

Honours with Genk and Club Brugge during his playing career were followed by triumphs at the same clubs as a manager. When it came to the appointment process at Ibrox, the former Monaco boss became an obvious candidate given his curriculum vitae and list of achievements on both sides of the white line. It was his drive and his focus that ultimately helped him earn the opportunity to succeed Michael Beale as the board backed him to bring the good times back after another false dawn.

Clement has mentioned the mental fortitude of his players and his team on a couple of occasions as three wins and a Europa League draw have been earned from his first four matches in charge. On Sunday afternoon, he has the chance to move within 90 minutes of his maiden trophy in Glasgow. It is an opportunity the Belgian is determined to grasp, but not one that he will get too excited about while all the hard work has yet to be done.

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Clement is not one for hyperbole or headlines. He says what he wants in the manner he wants to say it and the messages in his handful of press conferences have been clear. That applies to those that are being engrained in the squad as well, with captain James Tavernier revealing that the tactical tweaks have been underlined by a spotlight on fitness as greater distances have been run during training sessions.

Clement spoke on Friday afternoon about being focused on the game rather than the silverware. The prospect of lifting the Viaplay Cup at Hampden next month has never entered Clement’s head and when asked about the significance of what it could mean, he firmly stated that it would only become clear at the end of the campaign.

For Clement, the League Cup represents his first shot at glory. For many of his players, it offers the scope for them to complete a hat-trick after the Premiership and Scottish Cup triumphs in successive seasons. Those moments were savoured at the time but they were not followed in the manner that was expected or demanded at Ibrox and the majority of this group have repeatedly failed when it comes to silverware during their Rangers careers.

Clement will be aware of that fact. Rangers cannot be a club where glories are a case of one and done. The next game, the next win, must always be the ambition for the collective, regardless of what it means for the individual.

“I hate this extra motivation,” Clement said when asked if some of his squad had an additional hunger to win the League Cup to complete their set of domestic medals. “I want that they are motivated for everything. If I think ‘oh, now they are motivated because it is a semi-final and we can win a cup’ then it is totally the wrong message.

"We need to be motivated every day, every game, to show the best of themselves. A football career is so short, for them it is so fast gone. You need to be motivated every day to get the best out of every day. They have the best life in the world. That I want to see from my players. Then the other things follow.”

A win over Hearts on Sunday afternoon would secure a return to Hampden just days after the final Group C fixture against Real Betis next month. Once again, Clement will not countenance the potentials and he sidestepped a question about the heightened expectations that are on Rangers given that Celtic do not stand between them and the trophy.

The National Stadium could be the scene of Clement’s first achievement as Rangers manager. A maiden trip to Mount Florida does not come with any feelings of excitement.

“No to be honest,” Clement said. “I have a lot of respect for the history but I am so focused on my team. That's the only thing that is important. I told them with the circumstances before the game in Dundee. It does not matter if we play in the national stadium or parking lot - it's about one thing, winning games.”

A repeat of the outcome from their meeting with Hearts last weekend would be pleasing for Clement, yet that performance was not at the standard he seeks. The same is true of the one produced against Dundee in midweek, even though that came with a resounding 5-0 victory.

A league and cup winner in his homeland, Clement knows what it takes to get the job done and get over the line. The challenge for him is to impart that knowledge into his players.

If he can do that, a support that has been encouraged thus far will have even more reasons to be optimistic about what could lie ahead. Getting the first one in the Trophy Room would be a moment of celebration and a potential platform upon which Rangers could build but Clement won’t be drawn on the wider ramifications.

“No, honestly I am totally not busy with that,” Clement said. “I do this job because I love to do things with people together.  I love to make players better, to guide them and to put my passion as a player into other people, because my body can't do that on the pitch anymore. I'm not busy with my career and where I want to go. I have won trophies in my career, but the satisfaction is having this with the players and staff. 

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“I love the joy football can give people, like in Dundee after the final whistle you go inside and see all these people so happy. That is why I love to be a manager, with my players, staff and supporters. It's about that not my personal thing.”

Rangers will head for Hampden without established figures such as John Souttar, Nicolas Raskin, Rabbi Matondo and Kemar Roofe. Tom Lawrence is challenging for a place in the squad, while Ben Davies must prove his fitness to earn his spot after Clement decided not to risk him at Dens Park following discussions with the medical staff.

The group may be depleted, but it still has the required strength and depth to overcome a Hearts side that couldn’t see it out at Ibrox despite Lawrence Shankland’s early opener. They will, like Rangers, believe that this could be their time, however, given that Hibernian or Aberdeen will await in the final.

Rangers Review: Rangers manager Philippe Clement, right, at Ibrox yesterday after the win over Hearts

By the time that fixture comes around, Rangers’ aspirations for this term will be clearer. The visits of Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol will define their Europa League ambitions and a sequence of Premiership outings must be taken care of to ensure that Celtic are within sight ahead of the next Old Firm clash. The games are there to be won, the momentum is there to be built.

“Yeah, for sure,” Clement said when asked if that mentality is what he wanted to see from his players. “I want my players to be ambitious, the medals will come if you do the correct things. We need to be brave and not be afraid to make mistakes - it is important how you react afterwards and that is what I want to give to my players.

“As a coach, you need to invest in your players and see the qualities they have and build on this. You need to see potential and give them the tools to develop themselves. I want my team to be motivated for everything regardless of the trophy or the occasion - they must be like this every day and show the best of themselves.”

That is something that only a handful of players have done this season. When it comes to Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers, those flashes of inspiration have been few and far between.

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Both got on the scoresheet at Dens Park and both will have a part to play at Hampden. The summer recruits have been subject to comment and criticism for so long but the clean slate that Clement promised on his appointment offers them a shot at redemption.

“They take criticism? I don’t know,” was Clement’s rhetorical response to a question about Lammers and Dessers and their attitude. “They had criticism? That is why I am not busy with noise. I am busy with what I see in the training and in the games.

"I analyse, together with my staff, about that. I was not the biggest talent as a player, I also had criticism in my career. I know how things go. I have had players in the past that everyone said were not good players and could not do something.”

Clement went on to use the example of Ally Samatta to reinforce his point. The Tanzanian was written off upon Clement’s appointment as manager, but he judged on what he saw rather than what was said. Once the positives were picked out of his game, extra training sessions were put on and Samatta became the top scorer in the league before winning a move to Aston Villa.

“It is about that, about seeing the potential of players and then giving them the tools to develop themselves together with the staff,” Clement said. “It is about the players taking those chances. I am not busy with what other people think about my players. I will see what I see on the pitch.”

Clement will expect to witness another step up in terms of the performance come Sunday. Most importantly of all, he must watch Rangers win once again. He knows that better than anyone at Ibrox.