Old Firm win gives Rangers ‘oxygen’ for next season – Michael Beale
Michael Beale believes Rangers’ convincing 3-0 home win over Celtic in the final Old Firm clash of the season will give everyone at Ibrox “oxygen” going into next season.
Goals from Todd Cantwell, John Souttar and Fashion Sakala gave Beale his first victory over the treble-chasing Hoops in five attempts since taking over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst as Gers manager last November.
Beale, who was assistant coach to Steven Gerrard during his spell as Gers boss, will revamp his squad in the summer but believes the victory over the cinch Premiership champions can have a knock-on effect.
He said: “Listen, I was here for a long time in a different period where (we) played a lot of these games.
“It’s my 16th, 17th game against Celtic so I’m not new to the fixture.
“I was two minutes away from it in January (a 2-2 draw) and you think the next one will come quick.
“I think it gives us some oxygen going into the summer and the exciting period we have now of recruiting some players in.
“I still think this current group are capable of big performances. They put a decent one in today.
“When we analyse the games back we have had games against Celtic this season where we have had more possession. We’ve had chances and not taken them.
“Today we had slightly less possession because were in a two-goal lead quite early and it was their game to chase. I felt Rabbi (Matondo) and Fashion were getting in behind.
“Games at this level are fine margins between two teams like us and Celtic. It comes down to the boxes and we have made some mistakes.
“Today, for our third goal, they have made a big mistake and we have punished them.
“That’s it. I don’t want to talk about the work we’ve got to do or how far it is, it’s just three points.
“Let’s take it and I think it gives the fans some oxygen and breathing space too, looking forward to the summer.”
With three fixtures remaining Rangers are 10 points behind the Hoops, who will clinch the treble if they beat Championship side Inverness in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on June 3.
Beale rebuffed the notion, however, that the result was any sort of warning to their city rivals.
The former QPR boss said: “No, I don’t think they need that. I think they’ll try and improve and we will too.
“We are the team with the most to improve aren’t we?
“It’s nothing more than three points today, I think over the course of the season we deserved today.”