Beale says Rangers faced pitch battle on St Johnstone 'cow field'

The Gers boss was also unimpressed by the Hampden Park surface last Sunday.

Beale says Rangers faced another pitch battle on St Johnstone’s ‘cow field’ SNS Group

Michael Beale described the McDiarmid Park pitch as a “cow field” after a rare Borna Barisic goal gave Rangers a narrow 1-0 Scottish Cup win over St Johnstone.

The Gers boss was unimpressed by the Hampden Park surface last Sunday for the 2-1 League Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen, which came before the midweek Premiership victory on Kilmarnock’s artificial surface.

After another energy-sapping match where left-back Barisic scored his first goal in almost two years with a fine strike just before the break, Beale assessed the last week and said: “I’m delighted with everything. It’s been three games in six days, all away from Ibrox.

“I want to talk about our fans, who have travelled around in January, around 55,000, which isn’t easy after Christmas and New Year. I’m delighted to reward them by getting through.

“When the draw was made, everyone looked at it as being a sticky game on a difficult pitch.

“That’s exactly what it was. It wasn’t perfect but the most important thing was winning, a clean sheet and being in the next round.”

Asked if his group was running on empty and needing new faces, he said: “What I think is we don’t need three games in six days away from Ibrox on two cow fields, that’s what we don’t need.”

Rangers have been linked with several players in the transfer window, including Swansea’s Morgan Whittaker and Standard Liege’s Nicolas Raskin.

The former QPR boss, who has won eight and drawn one of his nine games since taking over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, said: “You can expect to see something before the end of the window but I’m not going to say it’s definitely those guys (Whittaker and Raskin).

“We’re definitely going to bring some players in and one or two might go the other way.

“Young Charlie (McCann) is obviously having a chat with Forest Green so there will be some update on that but other than that there is nothing else. We will be strengthening, players will come back.

“Antonio Colak was on the bench today if we needed a penalty or needed five minutes. If I can get Antonio fit and playing with Alfredo (Morelos) I think it will add a different dimension.

“Scott Wright came on tonight and thought he was excellent. Ryan Kent and Fashion Sakala are giving me every single ounce of energy they’ve got.

“In time new players will come in, we’ll get more players fit and we’ll look stronger. But I tell you what, the results aren’t too bad.”

Callum Davidson admitted his side missed the St Johnstone supporters who had boycotted the game.

The fourth-round tie has been the subject of a ticket row between Saints fans and the Perth club’s board after Gers supporters were allocated three stands and the home support looked to be in the hundreds.

He said: “I thought my players did that and they gave me everything today. “I hope the supporters who were here appreciated it. And the supporters watching at home too.

“I understand fully why they are not here but I think the performance and energy levels were what I expect from a St Johnstone team. (I’m) disappointed to go out but there were a lot of positives to take.

“We missed the fans, definitely, especially the last 10-15 minutes when we are trying to put a bit of pressure on, they always help.

“If they were on the far side they would definitely helped us pin Rangers back and try to get that goal.

“With them not being there it was difficult and when the game finished it was pretty quiet.

“It was tough that they weren’t there but I fully understand why.”

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