06 March 2023

Rangers boss Michael Beale refuses to let fans’ protests worry or distract him

06 March 2023

Michael Beale insists periods of discontent among the fans was always going to be part of life at Rangers as he looks to end the season on a high.

A cloud of negativity descended over Ibrox following the 2-1 Viaplay Cup final defeat by Celtic at Hampden Park on February 26, thickened by the fact that the Light Blues trail their Old Firm rivals by nine points at the top of the table with the title heading again for Parkhead.

After kick-off in the 3-1 cinch Premiership win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday, a section of the Gers support held up a banner aimed at the board which read: ‘After fifty five titles you took your eye off the ball. Time for change.’

The message received a round of applause from the stands.

The cup final setback was Beale’s first defeat as Gers boss in 15 games and ahead of the trip to Easter Road to play Hibernian on Wednesday night, when asked if the banner aimed at the hierarchy was a concern, the former Rangers assistant coach said: “It is not. The fans are entitled to make their feelings known,  they support the team at other times fantastically.

“They pay their money and they come. We would be a lot worse off without our fans.

“I would like it for us to be all together but I understand that at times there is going to be discontent.

“When we lose a cup final in the way that we played, I think in the days after  you are going to see a reaction from the fans.

“It is important that you see a reaction from the players on the pitch and I thought, certainly in the first half, but for the majority of the game at the weekend, we got that and that’s all my players can do.

“I have got to try to keep all that away from them, that’s my job. I can’t really control the other things.

“It is a heavy shirt at times but it is a great opportunity to play for our club and with it comes great expectation.

“They are aware of that, we have spoken about it and they are massively disappointed as well but we have to move forward.

“There is a lot to play for. We need to win as many of these next 13, 14 games as we can, we want to retain the Scottish Cup and we can only take care of Rangers and outside of one game we have been doing that.

“I said before when I came in my job was to settle everything down.

“We did that for a number of weeks and played poorly in one game and everything exploded but that’s fine. I was aware that there was going to be some tough days.”

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