Michael Beale responds to Rangers fan outrage and addresses title hopes after defeat to Celtic

Rangers manager Michael Beale on the touchline during the 1-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Michael Beale on the touchline during the 1-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Ibrox club have spent heavily to replace outgoing players but fell to the only goal of the game from Kyogo as Brendan Rodgers enjoyed a memorable return to Ibrox in his second spell as Celtic manager.

There was much for the crowd – which contained only Rangers fans – to be unhappy about and their dejection was evident at the end when supporters booed their own players as they circled the field.

Beale will have to win the fans back as well. Afterwards the Ibrox manager said that he is confident that he and the team can do that.

“The fans are going to be disappointed when the team lose,” he said. “I get it. It’s the life of a football manager. I felt today there were enough moments in the game for us. If I’m looking at it as a coach, did we create enough moments to score goals? We did, but we didn’t.

“Ultimately that buck stops with me. The fans are only going to be happy when we are winning games of football, I get that. Certainly, in this game. They are not going to value performance and effort. It’s the result that is important.”

Asked if he felt Rangers have the quality to wrest the title from Celtic, Beale was adamant that they do. “But words are not worth anything if the team doesn’t go and win the big games,” he added. “It’s the fourth game of the season and we are not where we want to be. There will be ups and downs in the season but it is clear we need to go on a run of performances and wins right now.”

New No.9 Cyriel Dessers bore the brunt of the fans’ frustrations when he was substituted off. Notably, he was just one of two new signings in Beale’s starting line-up. The Rangers manager defended his decision to stick with the old guard despite welcoming nine new arrivals this summer.

“When you lose six players that play in the front positions, you have to sign some,” Beale argued. “They can’t all play at the same time. That’s fair. The players can’t all play if they play in the same position, that’s obvious. We had to sign these players. There has been a lot said about the fees.

“I will tell you that you are miles out on who cost what, who cost this. You are miles out. We had to replace the players that went out. They have all contributed so far. They could all show a little bit more. But I don’t think it is a slight on anyone that we picked Kemar Roofe today, or the form that Rabbi Matondo has been in.”

Rangers had a goal from Matondo rightly ruled out for offside in the opening minute and had one chopped off more controversially just before the half hour mark, for a perceived push on Gustaf Lagerbielke by Dessers.

“Obviously the first goal is clearly offside,” said Beale. “The VAR decision I am not sure about, I think Cyriel puts his foot down and the boy kicks him. I think he (Lagerbielke) is a lucky boy. I am disappointed that goes against us. Having said that, there is a lot of football to be played afterwards.”