'Rangers have heard it loud and clear': Michael Beale stays grounded after Real Betis win with message to players and fans
The 43-year-old acknowledged the success in their Europa League opener, earned with a 68th-minute winner from Abdallah Sima, did not overshadow the fact the Ibrox men has suffered “a couple of bangs to the head” this season that only a run of wins, starting with this weekend’s hosting at Motherwell, would be required to remedy. It was a clear reference to the deeply-damaging Celtic and PSV Eindhoven defeats that many among the club’s support considered Beale should not have been allowed to survive.
This win over the La Liga side nudges him away from that abyss, but the Englishman went out of his way to stress how early his team are in the rehabilitation phase, even as credited his team for dredging up the necessary “desire” after a pallid first half hour. It was a period in which he considered his players "lacked belief" and a "recurring theme", Beale said.
“I knew it would be tough and I told the players that at half-time,” he said. “I told them to step over the line, to commit to the game fully and not be a seven out of ten. In that changing room it is worth it but it is just three points and the focus is now Motherwell. We have had a couple of bangs on the head this season and we have heard it loud and clear from the outside. We have had two clean sheets since the international break and that is a real positive sign. But, nothing is done. It is just one performance.
“I think we need to back it up at the weekend. I don’t think we can come off each other just now. We came into the season and what we were seeing behind the scenes was really positive. But then results and performances haven’t really been in line with that. The first thing is showing the passion and desire – but I think the quality will come over time, certainly with results and confidence. But it’s too early for me to start giving the team praise. Let’s go again at the weekend.”