27 February 2023

Michael Beale won’t dwell on cup final loss as Rangers boss eyes bright future

27 February 2023

Rangers manager Michael Beale remains “super-optimistic” about the future despite suffering the first major setback of his reign.

Beale admitted his side started poorly against Celtic in Sunday’s Viaplay Cup final and were second best in a 2-1 defeat.

The former Ibrox first-team coach had won all of his games in charge since returning from QPR during the World Cup break, other than a 2-2 draw against Celtic on January 2.

And he warned against over-reactions in the wake of their Hampden defeat, pointing out that preparations had been impacted by pre-match injury doubts over starters John Lundstram, Malik Tillman and substitute Ryan Jack.

“We have had a lot of injury problems this season,” Beale said. “Even going into the final, a lot of uncertainty. We need to get over that and make sure people are fit and healthy and available and it makes a strong squad and we can build forward. It’s important, we have got to recruit and work out one or two futures.

“We’ll come back stronger. I don’t think we should get too carried away. The job was always going to be big regardless of this result.

“It’s important we bite down on the gumshield and take our medicine, which doesn’t taste too nice right now, and we come back.

“But when I look at a team with the promise Malik Tillman has shown, with (Nicolas) Raskin, with (Todd) Cantwell, moving forward there’s enough for me to be super-optimistic about the future.

“Is it going to be plain-sailing? Of course it isn’t. If we had won the cup final would everything have been rosy in the future? No, we would still have that work to do.

“That’s my job and I don’t mind being judged on that but it’s probably not the right time for me to be worrying about the greater future.

“It’s more, ok, what didn’t go right in this fixture and what have we got to do to fix it against Celtic?

“Because against everyone else it seems to have gone all right so far.”

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