Philippe Clement needs Rangers Scottish Cup Final win more than Brendan Rodgers at risk of 'uncomfortable' summer

Chris Sutton believes Philippe Clement NEEDS to win the Scottish Cup for Rangers this afternoon or it'll be an "uncomfortable" summer.

The Ibrox boss has lifted one trophy already this year with the Premier Sports Cup but after Brendan Rodgers' Celtic won the Premiership, Clement could find himself under a bit of pressure if the Hoops also win this one. The Belgian has never won on derby day and Sutton, writing in his Daily Record column, believes Gers need the win more than their rivals to ensure the confidence remains with the manager.

"Brendan Rodgers really wants to win this Scottish Cup Final. So does Philippe Clement. But the difference between the pair is that the Belgian really needs it," Sutton said.

"Let's get it right, there is no such thing as cushioned disappointment if you lose a major final against your biggest rivals at Hampden. I know. I’ve been through it. The last time the teams met in this showpiece 22 years ago. It stings, regardless of what else has happened in the season beforehand. But, when I assess the potential fall-out from this encounter, I can’t help but feel it’s just about added gains for Rodgers, whereas Clement has much more to lose.

"The Celtic manager has been riding the wave in the past few days. Winning the Premiership title is the one that matters in Scotland. For so many reasons. Straight away, being the champions gives the No.1 tag and, in any country, that title comes ahead of any other success in the cup competitions.

"The fact it also provides automatic qualification again into the group stages of the Champions League just adds to the prize, especially with the new format next term which gives more guaranteed games and more cash. That provides Rodgers with more to spend in the summer as he looks to build the squad and, at the same time, it has kept that money away from Ibrox. Clement needs to make quality signings and the additional funds from reaching the group stages would have been crucial. Of course, Rangers might still get there. But you can’t guarantee it now and that means you can’t really budget for it. Not if you are being sensible, anyway.

"So, in that respect, Rodgers has already won the big battle. With that Premiership trophy tucked away, there is less stress on the final for Celtic's boss. Of course he’s desperate to win. He wants a Double and so do the supporters. But, if Celtic lose, although those fans will be disappointed, they will still believe in their manager going forward.

"Rodgers has delivered the one that counts in a season where it could have slipped away and, in doing so, he has proven he is still a master in the Old Firm fixture. With three wins and a draw from the four matches and 13 wins from 17 overall, Celtic’s fans know they go into next season with a manager who is capable of dealing with their biggest rivals and that means he is not going to be doubted going forward.

"That’s in stark contrast to the feelings which surround Clement now and will deepen if he loses. Victory for Rangers would give them some comfort over the Premiership demise, which was sudden and spectacular over the last few games.

"The bottom line is this. For all Rangers seemed to be making progress under Clement, they finished more points behind Celtic in the table than they were when Beale was axed. And the simple fact is that no Rangers manager can get away with not beating Celtic in big games. If Clement wins this one, it won’t make up for the frustration of the league being lost, but it’ll at least show he can deliver against Rodgers when it counts and that’ll be crucial going into next term.

"But lose it and that’ll be four on the bounce without a win. With a first Premiership meeting of next season being at Celtic Park and the chance for that record to be extended to five straight off the 2024/25 bat, that could be disastrous for the Belgian. It is for that reason that I feel Clement needs this piece of silverware much more than Rodgers does.

"If Rodgers doesn’t get it, he’ll still move on as the champion with his reputation intact. If Clement doesn’t get it, his reputation of not being able to deliver against Celtic will just build further and make for a very uncomfortable summer."