‘Trust me, support booing because they are bored’ - Rangers candid over fans' action
The Ibrox striker understands precisely why groans rang round the club’s home at the end of their wretched showing on Sunday that somehow resulted in them eking out a 1-0 win over Motherwell. A reaction that exposed the profound disconnect between the fanbase and manager Michael Beale – principally – and the 30-year-old knows there is only means to end that. The alternative as they play host Livingston in the Viaplay Cup on Wednesday evening with a semi-final date at Hampden on the line truly the stuff of nightmares for the manager and his squad.
When it was put to Roofe it was unusual for such a response to a win – not least one that marked a third victory on the spin inside a nine-day spell in which their defence was not breached – he did not demur. Yet he had every sympathy for the jeering. “That’s true. But I suppose they are booing because they are probably bored, unfortunately,” he said. “Trust me. We are not trying to play boring football. We don’t want that to happen. But we also have to take responsibility and entertain them a little bit more and play attractive football for them so they don’t boo us and they aren’t bored.
“Every game, there’s a demand to play with style. Every game, there’s a demand to look good, to please the fans and to entertain the fans. Yes football is a results driven business. But it’s also an entertainment business.That’s why fans come to watch a game – to be entertained. I’m the same when I watch football. If the game’s boring, I’ll probably turn the TV off and do something else. It’s natural.
“[But] I genuinely do believe it’s a matter of time [before it turns for us]. At the same time, we also have to focus on the result. It’s the third game in a week. Sometimes you need to grind these games out. If we pick up the [league] trophy at the end of the season – do you think anyone is remembering that game, or the performance? No. They will remember the three points that helped us get the silverware.”
Roofe is ravenous to taste success in the first competition of the season as a starter. In his three-and-a-bit years, League Cup success has eluded the championship and Scottish Cup winner – the trophy last residing at Ibrox in 2011. Moreover, the forward hasn’t yet even started for the club in any final. He made it on to the pitch in the dying minutes of the Europa League decider in May 2022, but was consigned to the bench for the Scottish Cup triumph over Hearts days later.
“It’s obviously a big box to tick because you want to be involved in these big games,” he said. “I was disappointed not to be fully playing in those games, but it is what it is, you can’t dwell on it. I need to look to the future and hope we can reach the final in this competition. I am desperate to be involved because you work hard with the team to get to these finals and not being able to play is hard. I was out injured [for the League Cup final last year] close to playing against Celtic in the [Scottish Cup] semi-final. I was in the stands because I just missed out. I had an angry face on that day, it hurt me. I was upset that I wasn’t involved. You always need to find a positive, though. You can’t sulk on it and feel sorry for yourself. I have been doing it for a long time, I know the procedure.”
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