There will come a point on Philippe Clement’s journey at Ibrox where Rangers will stall. Indeed, they may even take a step back. Right now, though, it is all about the strides forward.

Six games have brought five wins and a draw for Clement. The results speak for themselves, but there has been a style to go with the substance as Hearts have been beaten twice and Hibernian, Dundee and Sparta Prague have been overcome. On the night that the points were shared in the Europa League, there was frustration that all three were not collected.

The story of Clement’s tenure thus far has been one of positives and platitudes, one where performance levels – both individually and collectively – have been raised in tandem with the mood around Ibrox. That is true of the squad that Clement inherited from Michael Beale as much as the support who had become disillusioned come the end of the Englishman’s tenure.

Victory over Livingston on Sunday would complete a start to Clement’s reign that he would have wished for but perhaps not have envisaged. He took over a team with plenty of room for improvement but the manner in which those gains have been found has surprised many observers.

His players have spoken about the clarity of his messages as being integral to that process, as well as the man-management that has allowed everyone to feel part of what he calls the ‘story’. Clement is the main protagonist in the tale but the Belgian is content for others to take on the hero status as Rangers look to maintain their push for domestic honours and European qualification once the action resumes after the international break.

The upturn in fortunes could be put down to the bounce that teams regularly show when there is a change in the dugout. But the impact that Clement has made feels more tangible than that and the way that Rangers look and feel right now has rightly raised optimism amongst the support.

READ MORE: Rangers 2-1 Sparta Prague: Analysing Philippe Clement's tactics

Clement has, of course, been in this situation before. His appointments as manager at Genk and Monaco came mid-campaign when he was denied the opportunity to work with the squad during a  pre-season and had to utilise the players that he inherited. When he says that the improvements at Ibrox are the fastest he has seen in his career, the statement carries significant weight.

It is less than a month since Clement was presented in the Blue Room and detailed the four pillars – technical, tactical, mental and physical – of his philosophy. Rangers are continuing to learn, continuing to evolve through a process that has no definitive end date.

“I wish it was yesterday,” Clement said after being asked about a potential timeframe for all of his ideas to come together. “It doesn’t work that way, we are not working with robots or machines. We are working with people and you don’t know what is going to happen, how someone reacts, what is happening in his private life or football. There are so many situations that we don’t control.

“We like to control everything that we can control in a football club and for the moment it is because the players are really focused, really concentrated in every meeting, that they are making big steps forward in a fast time. I have to say this is the fastest way that a team reacted until now when I was working somewhere, because of their concentration. Maybe also because they come from a low, deep point and they realise they need this.”

Clement is still in what he describes as the ‘observation period’ as he gains an insight into his squad on a personal and professional level. He will learn more about their mentality when they suffer their first moments of adversity but he is determined to ensure that particular result doesn’t arrive for some time yet. Given the deficit to Celtic in the Premiership title race and what is at stake against Aris and Real Betis and then Aberdeen at Hampden, Clement needs Rangers to extend their unbeaten run for some time to come yet.

His options will be boosted by the time Rangers return to action at Pittodrie later this month. Scott Wright is likely to miss the trip to Livingston but John Souttar, Nicolas Raskin and Rabbi Matondo are working towards a return to action, as is Kemar Roofe after he was named in the squad for the Group C victory on Thursday evening.

READ MORE: Rangers 2-1 Sparta Prague analysis as Danilo and Cantwell impress

Clement again highlighted the importance of the collective – both in terms of the playing squad and the support staff – as he assessed the advancements that have been made. He may be the main voice and the main driver of standards but Rangers are no one-man team on or off the park.

“No, I don’t have any expectations around that,” Clement said when asked if he had been surprised by that level of improvement. “You can think about that for 100 years but that is all a loss of energy for nothing. If it is four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, two months, you never know from before. But I know if everyone starts to do the things together that we create a good team and that we create a team who creates a lot of chances, that we create a team who doesn’t give away a lot of chances. That is a basic in football. Then it is about fine tuning all the other stuff individually for every player in every position towards their specific qualities and their working points.”

Fixtures at Livingston are generally thought of as potentially tricky ones, as afternoons where points could easily be shipped. The record there defies that feeling, though, and Rangers should be confident about overcoming a side whose form contrasts starkly to that of Clement’s side.

It will be the final outing of this tranche of matches. The break will give Clement time to take a breath and take stock but he will not slow down while some of his players are away representing their respective nations.

Some will be worked harder to ensure they make the required gains in terms of their fitness and sharpness following periods of injury or inactivity. Others will have the chance to recover and recharge while Clement makes the most of the opportunity to put in the hours on the training pitches at Auchenhowie.

“For me, every day, every minute is useful and we try to get the best out of every minute with all the staff together with the players,” Clement said. “Every minute is useful but, of course, you also have players who go on international duty. I'm curious how they'll come back also because we are building a book, page by page every day or every hour and then they go back for 10 days and then they come back sometimes they forget a lot of pages. I'm curious how this will go with the players who go on international duty. That's one of the other things for me to discover in my adventure.”