Michael Beale has maxed out this Rangers squad and arrivals need to arrive now to let team make next level

Eight wins, one draw. Reaching the final of the Viaplay Cup and the fifth round of the Scottish Cup. Michael Beale should be delighted with his return since taking over as Rangers manager in December.

Given the state the Ibrox club was in when Giovanni van Bronckhorst was axed back in November, Beale has worked wonders in a short space of time. The feelgood factor is back around the club, results have improved, a system has been found to get the best out of the team and certain individual performances have been raised. On Monday, Beale will get a full week to work with his team for the first time since the end of the World Cup, such has been the hectic nature of the calendar. This will no doubt be welcome.

Rangers were running on fumes against St Johnstone at the weekend as they overcame stubborn opponents and a challenging playing surface to prevail 1-0 at McDiarmid Park. It was a poor match illuminated by a rare Borna Barisic goal, a lovely left-footed strike, right on the stroke of half time. Little of note happened before or after. The visitors were well-organised and never looked like conceding but their overall display was average. Some would argue that this has been the case in other matches under Beale. They are starting games slowly, only just getting by. More is required at a club of this stature.

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That is why this upcoming week is important. The players need to recover from a gruelling schedule, Beale gets some time on the training pitch to further implement his ideas and the club should be able to reinforce a squad badly in need of fresh blood.

Rangers manager Michael Beale has improved fortunes at Rangers but this ageing team is right at its ceiling.

Beale hinted that incomings are close. Todd Cantwell has said his goodbyes to Norwich City team-mates and is expected in Govan imminently. His creativity and attacking instincts should improve a midfield that lacks proper dynamism and imagination. Standard Liege’s Nicolas Raskin, also a midfielder, will give that part of the pitch more legs and energy. It was notable against Saints that Ryan Jack and Jon Lundstram offered ballast and structure but were unable to raise the tempo sufficiently. Rangers also want Morgan Whittaker, a winger from Swansea City. He was left on the bench for the Swans’ match at the weekend, his head supposedly scrambled by the interest from up north. Beale needs more options in the final third to allow them to refresh and break down disciplined opponents.

Of course, Beale will get “new” players to work with soon enough when Ianis Hagi, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar return to the squad after long-term injuries. But it is clear that more recruits are required to let this team grow under its new head coach, his own type of players. When watching Rangers recently, one of the most glaring differences between them and Celtic – the benchmark – is the champions’ relentlessness in searching for goals and the options at Ange Postecoglou’s disposal. The gap is big in that regard and Beale spoke at the weekend of needing to bridge it.

This week, therefore, allows Beale to build the scaffolding around his new-look Rangers. Getting players such as Ryan Kent back to their peak levels is a testament to his man-management abilities. However, what the past few matches have proven is that there is little room for growth with this current team. Someone will beat them soon unless additions come. And trailing Celtic by nine points in the league, and a cup final against them next month, there is still no margin for error.