Michael Beale walking tightrope with Rangers supporters as he makes 'only like me if I win' admission

Rangers manager Michael Beale isn’t fazed over the opprobrium that is certain to be heaped on him if he does not lead his team to success over bitter rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

The Ibrox side are considered to be all that realistically stands between Ange Postecoglou’s men and a clean sweep of the domestic honours. Judgements on the Englishman’s ability to prosper long-term in his role, by rights, require to be reserved until next season owing to the fact he took over in invidious circumstances last November, with the title already a largely forlorn pursuit. Beale’s Rangers will only emerge when he has had the opportunity to extensively reshape the squad with a summer transfer window and drill that group over a close season.

However, that will cut little ice with a Rangers support tortured over the possibility of Celtic landing a fifth treble in seven seasons. Beale puts himself on the hook for that insofar that he was in charge for February’s League Cup final loss and now has the chance to derail the Postecoglou juggernaut in Sunday’s last four tie at Hampden. And, after suffering many bodyblows as Steven Gerrard’s right-hand man at Ibrox between 2018 and 2021, the 42-year-old understands he will be an emotional punchbag for his own fans if the desired outcome is not secured this weekend.

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“I’ve been next to a manager here for three and a half years and I saw how fierce it can be on both sides in terms of praise and criticism,” he said. “I can’t help the opinions of people outside because half of the city don’t like me anyway and the other half only like me if I win – that’s the reality. It’s the reality for myself, for Ange. It was the reality for Gio, Neil Lennon, Steven Gerrard, Martin O’Neill, Walter Smith… that’s [always] been the way. You know that when you come into this job. I am trying to make this team stronger, younger with more stability, consistency and room to grow. In the one window we’ve had, we’ve managed to bring in two good players [in Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell]. We’re going to have a really busy summer. I suppose the look on my face in the first few days of pre-season will tell everybody how successful I have been.”



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