Hendry on Rangers manager Clement, Gerrard, Saudi Pro League and Scotland faith

De Schotse verdediger Jack Hendry werkte graag samen met Rangers-manager Philippe Clement bij Club Brugge.  <i>(Image: PA)</i>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/9PlWM1_Bp8Krt28VBNHMnQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/herald_scotland_359/4b08bdae61336d5e9a 83fd68a497f0f2″ data-src= “https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/9PlWM1_Bp8Krt28VBNHMnQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/herald_scotland_359/4b08bdae61336d5e9a83fd 68a497f0f2″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Scottish defender Jack Hendry enjoyed working with Rangers manager Philippe Clement at Club Brugge. (Image: PA)

Jack Hendry has packed a lot into his career so far, from his rise to fame at Partick Thistle to his current home in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ettifaq via League One in England, Dundee, Celtic, Australia, Belgium and Italy.

Along the way, the Scotland international has played under more than a few managers who have left a lasting impact on him, none more so than a man he worked with at Club Brugge, Philippe Clement.

Hendry was hugely impressed with the Belgian and says he had a significant impact on his game, with his attention to detail allowing him to take his defense to another level.

It is no surprise to the 28-year-old that Clement has had such a transformative effect on Rangers’ season since arriving in Glasgow, with his relentless pursuit of success fitting in perfectly with the demands of the Ibrox job.

“He signed me,” Hendry said.

“He played a big role in my development. I was grateful to him at that moment, that experience in the Champions League also benefited my game a lot.

“He was very good with me. I had a lot of one-on-ones, he showed me clips of different center halves and what he thought I could do, and he rightly believed in me.

READ MORE: Lawrence Shankland gets a chance for spendthrift Scots on a night of hard lessons

“I was disappointed that this was cut short when he went to Monaco, but his pedigree speaks for itself and he is a very good manager.

“He’s just a very good coach. He understands the game and he has that willingness to win, that winning mentality.

“We are similar in that respect. He was very driven and wanted to succeed. I think all the players looked up to him and listened to him when he spoke and appreciated him.”

Hendry is currently playing under yet another manager with links to Rangers, with former Ibrox boss and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in charge of Al-Ettifaq.

“The gaffer, Gerrard, he’s been really good to me too,” he said.

“He believes in me, and since I’ve been there he’s always supported me.

“He played a big role in my move to Saudi Arabia. I don’t know if I would have done it if he wasn’t the manager, but he has been very good to me alongside his coaching staff.

“Again, a different way of playing, but I really enjoy playing under him.”

“Gerrard obviously speaks for himself. He was a captain and such a centerpiece for Liverpool. He still is, and his winning mentality is visible every day in training and competitions.

“His standards are extremely high and it’s really good to play under him.”

One of the main reasons Hendry has flourished under Gerrard lies in the responsibility he has placed on the Scot’s shoulders.

“I played every minute,” he said.

“To be honest, I really enjoy my football. He has made me a real focal point in the defense and I enjoy that. I enjoy being such a leader in the back four.

“In any team it is important to have that foundation, and from a defensive point of view we have done very well in the league, I think we have the second best defensive record.

“For me that means a lot, and hopefully at some point we can be the best, but he’s probably given me a lot of responsibility to be an important part of that back four and I like that, I thrive on that.

“We have a good relationship that way and with the other coaches.”

His pride in his side’s defensive performances will undoubtedly be underestimated by the Saudi Pro League’s many opponents, although Hendry is quick to point out that he faces some of the best attacking talent in the world on a weekly basis.

Once the current international period is over, he will face Al-Ahli, for example.

“Their front line is (Roberto) Firminho, (Riyad) Mahrez and (Allan) Saint-Maximin,” he said.

“So those are high quality players.

“If you don’t look at it every week it’s obviously easy to look at it in a certain way, but when you look at the caliber of players who play every week – especially at the front of the pitch – it’s extremely strong …and that will only continue to grow.

“It’s a new competition, so everyone had their opinion about it. But I’m in it, I live in it every day.

“Even from my own club’s perspective, the difference between when I went out and what it is like now is like night and day. The facilities are probably of the highest Premier League standard. There are no excuses for what we have at our disposal now.

“With the players we have, our team has made good progress with the signings we have made.

“It’s just the world we live in, people always have things to choose from and nothing is going to be perfect, especially in an evolving league. But I can guarantee you that it will be one of the best competitions in the world. I don’t just say that because I’m in it, I see it every day. I see the infrastructure, the stadiums, what their plans are.

READ MORE: Clarke regrets ‘painful’ loss as Scotland crumbles against Netherlands

“It’s going to be mega and I’m looking forward to being part of it. It will be very exciting to see where it goes as it grows.”

Holding his own against a player of such a level has helped Hendry not only improve his own game but also give credence to matches against some of the world’s best international teams with Scotland despite the recent run of painful results which continued with the 4-0. loss against the Netherlands on Friday evening.

If that score doesn’t accurately reflect Scotland’s performance on the night, then, in his view, the current run of six games without a win also doesn’t reflect the potential of what Steve Clarke’s men can achieve at the Euros, and Hendry is adamant . it hasn’t affected their confidence.

“I think this is now the group as a whole, there is no fear element, we are excited to play against these teams,” he said.

“We came up against England and France recently, the results were disappointing but they were great learning experiences for the boys. We know we could have done so much better from a results perspective.

“I think we need to take those experiences against Spain, England and France – the teams we want to compete with – and learn from them. Hopefully we can translate these results into more positive ones.

“There is nothing to fear and we want to play and compete against those countries and get results against them.”

Leave a Comment