Philippe Clement and Rangers issued stark warning over Ibrox issues as one outcome 'won't wash'

Barry Ferguson admits Rangers' not having use of Ibrox at the start of the season is far from ideal - but warned Philippe Clement and his players they CAN'T use it as an excuse.

A mix-up with ordering materials for improvements being carried out on the Copland Road stand means the work has been massively delayed after an initial expectation it would be out of the way for the start of the campaign. A solution is yet to be found with Gers needing to find an alternative venue to play their home games - two in the league plus Champions League qualifiers and a potential Premier Sports Cup last 16 tie if drawn at home.

Ferguson knows how important home advantage at Ibrox can be, especially when bedding in a number of new players still adapting to Scottish football. But he insists the whole situation can't be used as an excuse and Gers must ensure they still hit the ground running.

Speaking in the Daily Record, he said: "They say home is where the heart is. So for Rangers to not have the basic privilege of playing in front of 50,000 at Ibrox for as many as five games in August is a problem. Let’s not beat about the bush. I’m not going to sit here and say everything in the garden is rosy when a mix-up over the cantilever construction work in the Copland Road stand has robbed Rangers of home advantage for a huge month. Now the fixtures have dropped the full scale of the situation is clear and it’s far from ideal. Home comforts are crucial to setting the right tone on a season.

"You need to get the supporters behind you but you also want to get that feeling of a new team settled with their surrounds. It can take a little bit of time for some guys who aren’t used to the ferocious intensity of the brilliant support to get comfortable with it. Others take to it no bother.

"But there’s lots going on in that first month of the season and it’s absolutely vital for setting the tone. I’ll tell you what though - none of this can be allowed to be used as an excuse. None of it. That simply won’t wash with anyone. The players and management simply can’t allow it to affect them. Not when there’s so much at stake. Rangers must find a solution to get through August and avoid having the same false start that held them back a year ago."