'Says more about those doing it' - Rangers boss Michael Beale on personal abuse from own support since Celtic loss
It can feel that the Englishman’s one defeat in 15 games across his first 90 days at the helm – in the occasion that mattered most, granted – has been all too much for those among the fanbase who were unconvinced by his appointment. To them, he appears the cause of all the Ibrox’s side ills since any appreciation for the accomplished nature of their bitter rivals under Ange Postecoglou would be an all-too-painful no-no. Beale knows he must live with that. But he doesn’t have to respect it.
“Listen, I don’t read it because I remember winning the league unbeaten and there was nothing nice written then,” said the 42-year-old, perhaps focusing on pastings from certain media commentariat, Ibrox fans praising to high heavens the remarkable title triumph two seasons ago. “So I’m not going to see anything I want to see now. That’s par for the course. Sometimes the personal stuff is what it is. It says more about the person doing the personal stuff than the person on the receiving end. I can’t worry about anybody else’s opinion. I can only focus strongly on winning games. That’s what will make the fans happy.
“There are no quick fixes so the word ‘patience’ comes out, the word nobody in this city likes. But the reality is that over 90 days we’ve made steady progress, regardless if people say that we haven’t. I’m saying we have and that’s my opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own. But I won’t be dampened by one defeat, no matter how damaging that defeat is. Because I know that in the head-to-head months before we were worse off. So we’re moving forward. Whether it’s quick enough for people or not, we have to still keep moving forward. And then at the end of your time everyone will say whether you did a good job or a bad job. I think I’ve got quite a complex job here at Rangers as I’m going to need to change a squad with not huge finance. And everyone wants me to get it ready.
“[The final] probably confirmed one or two things. The way that we want to play is not ingrained as their [Celtic’s] way. Maybe you could say after just 90 days that’s obvious. I think they’ve done really well in their recruitment and it’s important that we do the same in ours moving forward. If we focus on Rangers, the group needs more energy. The fans need to feel some oxygen as well with new faces. All of that is in the post, it’s coming in the summer.”
The summer will bring “big changes”. Beale speaks of the “cycle” of the current squad having run, of recruiting “four or five starters”. Celtic, with money in the bank, have brought in 16 players over the past 20 months Postecoglou would be comfortable starting. They could bear the £50million cost through having posted £40m profits in just over a decade. In the same period, Rangers have accumulated £100m losses. They simply do not have their rivals’ capacity for a comprehensive rebuild.
“The biggest clubs in the world spend hundreds of millions and get it wrong,” the Rangers manager said. “That’s the reality of recruitment. You have to recruit for a way. We’re competing against the odds if you like. In general, if you look at any league in the world, the team that spends the most is first. So we have to compete against the odds because we’re not going to spend the most money. We’re not going to recruit the finished product. So there’s a lot of coaching, a little bit of patience and a lot of good work to go on.”
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