Michael Beale opens up on Rangers challenges with 'I don't know many teams in world' claim

Rangers’ spirit is certainly willing. It is just their bodies that have been weakened.

All manner of them in the Ibrox squad. Alfredo Morelos, John Lundstram and Glen Kamara have all been playing with problems - by rights the Finnish international should have had an operation - and captain James Tavernier turned out for the fantastical late turnaround win at Aberdeen while suffering with a sickness bug. Meanwhile, the treatment room at the club’s training ground must seem as populated as Glasgow’s central station at rush hour. Connor Goldson and Ben Davies have only recently departed it. Antonio Colak, Kemar Roofe, Tom Lawrence and Ianis Hagi hope to follow them at various points in the coming weeks. Filip Helander doesn’t appear so fortunate.

In the face of all this, it was jokingly put to Michael Beale as to whether there was anyone playing for Rangers right now feeling absolutely 100%? The Englishman flipped the enquiry around, understandably enough. Attributable to the fact that despite myriad selection issues he has witnessed his men squeeze out 3-2 victories from losing positions at home to Hibs and at Pittodrie - Scott Arfield’s barely credible added time double providing the club a first ever victory from being behind with 94 minutes on the clock. Beale knows he is merely looking to buy himself some breathing space right now. The iffy displays of his first two outings don’t offer a blueprint to longer-term prosperity. But the willingness of his players to “bite down on the gumshield and go” is allowing them to take the punches and stay standing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It is just the reality of the situation,” the Rangers manager said, who for the County assignment has revealed he will still be able to make five changes from his midweek starting line-up. “It is quite unique and I never knew it in the time I was here before. That is why the mentality of the players I would never question. Certainly in the last week, when people have gone and played and we have come back from 2-1 behind. Nobody means to go 2-1 behind, it is not like we are challenging ourselves to show that we can come back. Players are going out there and I have got to protect them a bit as well because it is me that is selecting them.

Michael Beale has praised Rangers' character in the face of an injury crisis. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Michael Beale has praised Rangers' character in the face of an injury crisis. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Michael Beale has praised Rangers' character in the face of an injury crisis. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“They want to go and play but I need to protect them because it is a fierce public that we have in Glasgow. I know that. But once we get out on the pitch, all of those excuses are out the way. We either play well and win, or don’t play well and don’t get the result. All of those excuses are removed. But there are players going out there that, if we had more players available, maybe wouldn’t.

“There is definitely not a commitment issue around here, that is for sure. A little bit of confidence. But I think that comes from having everyone available and seeing the strength of that and things coming together. I don’t know many teams in any league in the world that could be without five senior centre-backs and two left-backs and have to play the teams that have historically been the third and four best in the league. We have just done that and won both games. I have played both those fixtures before and not won.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.