24 May 2023

Michael Beale believes new signing Kieran Dowell will kick on at Rangers

24 May 2023

Michael Beale welcomed Kieran Dowell to Rangers after watching his side drop two points in a 2-2 draw against Hearts at Ibrox.

The Light Blues announced before the game that the 25-year-old midfielder would be joining the club from Norwich in the summer.

In Rangers’ final home cinch Premiership match of the season, Jambos skipper Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring after less than a minute and it took until added time in the first half for Todd Cantwell to level.

Fashion Sakala put Rangers ahead early in the second half but in the final seconds of three added minutes substitute Garang Kuol took advantage of some slackness to fire in the equaliser, albeit the Light Blues will finish the season unbeaten at home in the league.

Beale was enthusiastic about Dowell, saying: “I’m delighted to get Kieran and he is a boy I have known for quite a while as when I was at Liverpool he was at Everton.

“He played for England Under-21 and then got a move to Norwich and played in the Premier League. They have had changes of coaches, so he comes in and knows three or four of the dressing room.

“We have missed a lefty since we lost Joe Aribo. He is similar to Tom Lawrence, Scott Arfield, Todd Cantwell that he can play in midfield or up a line.

“I think he will kick on here and someone who will be seen as a good signing over time and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Rangers asked fans to stay behind after the game to pay tribute to Allan McGregor, Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent, Scott Arfield and Filip Helander, all of whom will leave in the summer, which they did with enthusiasm.

Beale, who will refurbish his squad further, said: “We are nearly there, we have been waiting to get to this point. Without being disrespectful we needed energising and we will come back stronger.

“We aren’t that far away from where we want to be, we have five, six or seven players coming in.

“I think the boys who came in in January (Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin) gave us energy and the fans want more.

“What I would say to the new players, is if you see how the boys who are leaving were treated then it is a wonderful football club.

“If you give your heart and soul, then the fans will pay you back tenfold. I don’t think it is normal what has happened tonight, especially after a trophyless season.

“The appreciation the fans showed was incredible and I am proud of them as they have had it tough this year.

“They seem optimistic and behind the group and they sent the boys off the right way.”

Hearts missed out on third place to Aberdeen but interim boss Steven Naismith, who took over from Robbie Neilson last month, insists that should not have happened after being 11 points clear of the Dons at one point.

He said: “That is disappointing but the club were 11 points clear at one point and it shouldn’t be in this position. That is what it is.

“Since I came in we have tried to go give ourselves as good a chance as we can.

“We have done that but when you are relying on others, that is not where you want to be, especially at a club like Hearts.

“You don’t want to be relying on others to get you success, we want to do it our way and that is something we have tried to do.

“In the games I have been in charge of, the amount of soft goals we have conceded has not been good enough.

“If we don’t concede a lot of them we are in a healthier position but the boys have done incredibly well to buy into what we want to do and try to also get results along the way.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox