Rangers reaction: Patience wears thin on all sides, 'dangerous' road refusal, James Bisgrove's teaser

Rangers manager Michael Beale fires out instructions during the 1-0 win over Motherwell.Rangers manager Michael Beale fires out instructions during the 1-0 win over Motherwell.
Rangers manager Michael Beale fires out instructions during the 1-0 win over Motherwell.
Rangers defeated Motherwell 1-0 at Ibrox on Sunday, but the victory was far from convincing and left some fans very disgruntled.

We pick out some extra talking points from the match in Govan as Michael Beale’s men leapfrogged their visitors into third place in the Premiership.

Patience continues to wear thin

A sign of a club in trouble is when a victory is greeted with boos. That’s what happened when referee Alan Muir brought proceedings at Ibrox to a close. Rangers had got the job done in so far that they had beaten Motherwell and landed all three points, but the quality of their performance was alarming to all inside the stadium. Manager Michael Beale did not try to sugar coat the display from his players – it is certainly the most vexed I have seen him look during his time as Rangers manager. There was one question in his post-match press conference posed on the style of play that clearly irked the Englishman, who did not seem far away from snapping back. This is rare for Beale, so often a measured orator in front of the media. The pressure that comes with managing Rangers is always high, but we are in an intense period right now for those at the club. Remember: Rangers have just won three games in a week, all to nil, yet the atmosphere has some toxicity in it. Patience on all sides is wearing thin.

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Coping with the run of games

Michael Beale refused to use it as an excuse, but Rangers’ relentless calendar of fixtures is clearly catching up with them. Given the sheer volume of new players that have arrived at Ibrox, Beale clearly needs more time on the training ground with them. This is difficult when you are playing every three-to-four days. Including the August 5 league opener – a 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock that has unfortunately set the tone – Rangers have played 12 matches, and only one – a 2-0 win at Ross County – was a convincing performance. The new players are clearly struggling to adjust to demand of representing Rangers and there is mental and physical fatigue. Tom Lawrence picked up an injury on Thursday against Betis and there are fears Rabbi Matondo has badly damaged his knee from the game against Motherwell. Beale gave Scott Wright, who was given permission to leave during the summer, his first-ever start under him against Motherwell (he had a quiet game). The squad is frayed, struggling with a mounting injury list. “We know what the schedule is,” said Beale. “We only made three changes but the players coming in, the team on paper I am demanding more from them. I’m demanding more from all of us. If we go down that road of ‘tiredness’ it’s a dangerous road because the schedule’s not changing.”

Bisgrove on England’s appearance

On a slightly lighter note … James Bisgrove's column in Rangers' matchday programme is always worth a read. In this edition, a good 40 per cent of it was centred around the training ground at Auchenhowie. The England national team stationed themselves there to prepare for the match against Scotland at Hampden earlier this month and Bisgrove waxed lyrical about what this says for the facilities Rangers have. "It was very pleasing to welcome England to our training ground ahead of their recent match with Scotland," Bisgrove wrote. "The current men's set-up is undoubtedly elite – they expect and have the best of everything. For them to recognise the Rangers Training Centre as the preferred location to prepare for a match they evidently took very seriously is a massive compliment to us as a club. The current board and investors have provided significant funds to ensure what was already the best training facility in the country was taken to a whole new level, and we are very proud to have a training ground on par with many of Europe's top clubs." And in a little teaser to what may come at the club, Bisgrove signed off with: "Plans to further enhance both the Rangers Training Centre and Ibrox, by way of stadium expansion and upgrades to facilities, remain high on our agenda, and we look forward to detailing further plans in the near future." The danger is whatever exciting developments off the pitch get lost in the maelstrom on it.