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Philippe Clement anticipates a “big” rebuild at Rangers this summer as he once again bemoaned a lengthy injury list.

The Gers were left six points behind cinch Premiership leaders and champions-in-waiting Celtic with a 2-1 defeat on Saturday, where midfielder John Lundstram was sent off.

John Souttar, Tom Lawrence and Dujon Sterling sustained knocks at Celtic Park to join Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun, Lundstram (suspended), Oscar Cortes, Rabbi Matondo, Abdallah Sima, Danilo and Bailey Rice on the unavailable list for Rangers’ penultimate league game of the season against Dundee at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

Rangers Training Session and Press Conference – Rangers Training Centre – Wednesday 13th March
John Souttar sustained a knock against Celtic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Rangers have suffered three defeats and a draw in four games this season against Celtic – Clement was in charge for the most recent three – and play the Hoops in the Scottish Cup final on May 25 with a clutch of players including Lundstram, Borna Barisic, Kemar Roofe, Ryan Jack, Balogun and John McLaughlin set to be out of contract afterwards.

The Belgian boss insists there is “not a big gap” between the two Glasgow giants but will make radical changes on and off the park in time for next season.

He said: “Part of the story is that we played against Celtic with all their players available while we were missing nine players.

“If we are both fully fit there is not a big gap. But we need to prove that in the results against each other.

“Every team in the world, if you have nine players who are possible starters who are not available, it is difficult.

Celtic v Rangers – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
Nicolas Raskin stands dejected following Rangers’ costly defeat at Celtic (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“Tomorrow we have 11 missing and that is a major thing that we need to change for next season. We need to make the foundation of the house stronger.

“There is going to be a turnaround in the squad, that is clear with all the end-of-contract situations and maybe others also. It is going to be a big one, it is going to be quite a rebuild.

“You want to keep the foundations of this season. You don’t want to start from zero. So we need to find the balance and bring in assets and experience in if experience is leaving the building.

“The club know how necessary it is to do that.

“We are working hard on that and I see the recruitment team are really busy finding the good profiles for next season, but now the next three games are important.

St Mirren v Rangers – cinch Premiership – The SMISA Stadium
Philippe Clement is expecting a ‘rebuild’ at Rangers this summer ( Euan Cherry/PA)

“But it is not only recruitment, in other departments we need to make good decisions because we cannot have so many injuries. So we have to rebuild something there.

“There are several things that need to change but I prefer to keep that in the building and make it better.

“Maybe it was better not to wait until the end of the season to make decisions around that (injury story) but you give chances to people.”

Clement had a message for disheartened Rangers fans who struggle to retain belief in the Scottish Cup going to Ibrox.

He said: “We are going to fight really hard to get a result. It is about margins, we need to take them and we need to stay with 11 players, that helps.

“It is not that we lost the last games 4-0 or 3-0 or whatever, it was small margins even with 10 men.

“So we are going to push really hard towards this cup final but also the last two league games and we count on the supporters to help the team over the difficult moments.”