Here's every word of the manager's pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Dundee tomorrow.

Hows your squad looking?

The guys who are fit, they look good

Anyone not fit from Wednesday night? Tom Lawrence, hows he doing?

Tom will be out until the winter break and Danilo will be out also so that's not so good news.

Both until the winter break?

No, maybe after also but we will not get them back before the winter break

What's Danilo's issue?

A problem with his knee because of a bad tackle in the game.

Does that require surgery?

The chances are he requires surgery.

So that may be him out long term?

Yes, indeed.

How big a blow is that for you?

No, I've given out my information about injured players, now I want to focus on the fit players because I've been talking enough about injured players the last couple of weeks. It's a big blow for the players because they were really motivated, hey were ready for the story and performing well and now it's to focus on the guys who are fit because we have really important games to come.

Is it specifically in relation to a tackle?

It's not important anymore. I just said I'm going to speak now about the fit players. I've given all the information about the injured players.

How happy with you the way the team's playing?

I'm happy in different ways. If I see how they were eight weeks ago, not too much of a team on the pitch, what I saw moments in games and the way they had two good results and we could've maybe had more results than we had. Every game we're creating a lot of chances, scoring good goals, several clean sheets in the league also, I think five out of seven games or something so the team is taking good steps. With players being out and in, everybody understanding the story and what to do in this position, it's also a lot of work and a lot of work for the players to understand everything. I think in that way, the team is in a really good way to improve and to become better because the squad understanding the story becomes bigger. An injury doesn't become bigger so that's another story.

With Danilo out does that give an opportunity to Kemar or Cyriel?

It's about them to show that they are ready like it is for every player. We know, of course, that Kemar comes out of an injury and history of a lot of consecutive injuries so we need to take that into account. It's of no use just to throw him on the pitch and then he's out also.

Will this make you consider bringing in a striker in the January window?


Will that be a priority now?

It will be one of the priorities.

Are Ryan Jack and Scott Wright back?

They're not back yet.

Given the short period of time in between games, what can you do with the players?

We have a lot of drinks here and we eat together! What do we do with them? The day after the game it's recovery for the guys who played. They also use the cryo chamber, they get treatments, they get massages, they do cycling, they do their exercises. We also try to give them extra exercises to become stronger in muscles they use less in the game and the day after it's tactical training. Then they go home and rest and they're ready for the next game because it's only two days in between.

What plans have you got with Robby McCrorie?

I will use him at the right moment. I'm happy with him with what I'm seeing in training but I don't think it's a good way to switch goalkeeper all the time but there will come a moment that he will get game time.

Has he come to speak to you about his future?


I guess he'll think he has a chance of getting in the Scotland squad for the Euros?

Can be, he's a good goalkeeper so I think he has the quality to be in the Scotland squad.

How important is it to have Abdallah Sima scoring goals with Danilo out injured?

I don't think that way. I don't want to put all the pressure on Abda to score goals. I expect it from other positions also. For me, it's not important if it's the attacking players or the midfielders or the defenders who score the goals because our midfielders pick up good positions or central defenders with the set-pieces who have been a threat in the last couple of weeks. We've been unlucky a few times by hitting the crossbar but I expect all the team to take responsibility in our attacks and I expect all the team to take responsibility in our defending also. 

Could Abdallah play through the middle?

I cannot say something honestly about that because I haven't had the chance to put him as the central striker in training, for example, because we didn't have enough wingers at the moment to take him out of that position.

Can Dessers and Lammers look to Sima for inspiration?

I don't want to speak about other players and not if you take two players out of a squad of 28 to say that they need to take an example out of somebody. Everybody is different, everybody has his own qualities and it's about the players showing that they're ready for a club like Rangers with all the attention, the expectations and the quality needed. That's an individual thing.

Is Kemar Roofe okay after Hearts?

He's good in the way that he got certain minutes but he can't play 90 minutes. He's not ready for that.

When was the tackle on Danilo?

It was an unlucky situation, it's part of football. I didn't say it was a bad tackle or somebody should have had a red card. It was a tackle and because of the contact he had a problem with his knee afterwards.

You must feel for Tom after suffering another injury?

I think I was really clear five minutes ago, we're going to speak about football now because I don't want to become a doctor. I feel sometimes like that in the last weeks with the press conferences. I want to stay the manager and speak about football.

Is there a feeling this is a defining week for Rangers?

No. Of course, it's a decisive game in one competition with the League Cup. In the other competition, it'll define what competition we'll go further in. That's already an important thing that you know you're playing in Europe next year. Of course, we want to play in the Europa League but I know a really good manager who put a tattoo on his arm when he won the Conference League so don't throw away the Conference League. Of course, we're going to go to Betis to try to win and to get the first place in the group also. In the other competition it stays a marathon until the end of the season and there is also the Scottish Cup in January. So saying that this week will define the season of Rangers, it's totally not true. There are, for sure, three competitions after this week that we'll still compete.

What have you made of Alex Lowry's impact at Hearts?

I didn't see him against us, of course. It's illogical these things are the way they are. It's a young player with a lot of good offensive qualities. I think it was the right decision, if you see the squad, to let him go on loan and to learn a different part of football and that's the part without the ball. He's taking steps in that and I think he's in a really good environment there with a good manager to help him become a stronger player for the future.

We saw you talking to Lawrence Shankland after the game, a player you like?

That's a good question! You guys have written a lot about that already. I'm never going to speak about players we are interested or not in. I hear some people really watch me a lot. I knew it in the city from one time in a restaurant. I need to think really well about what in the future I do. I don't want to be in the same situation as the German national coach, that I take something out of my nose or something. Clearly I must watch out really hard what I am doing but I greeted all the player of Hearts along the way - nothing really special there.