Beale defends Rangers team and anticipates Champions League challenge

The Rangers boss is aiming to steer his side to victory over Servette after a disappointing opening day defeat to Kilmarnock.

Michael Beale defends Rangers signings and targets Champions League success against Servette SNS Group

Rangers manager Michael Beale has backed his new signings to come good despite opening day defeat to Kilmarnock, and is relishing the prospect of facing Servette on Wednesday.

The Ibrox side are preparing for the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying tie against the Swiss side, but took a blow in the build-up as Beale’s new-look team lost 1-0 at Rugby Park in the Premiership opener on Saturday.

The manager threw six of his nine summer signings into the action and saw performances and tactics criticised after the game.

The games come thick and fast for Rangers, with hugely important matches in three different competitions in the coming weeks, and Beale said he was happy with “more playing and less analysing” as the team learns to play together.

“I think the ball just needs to roll a little bit,” he said.

“They’re good players who come from good pedigree and good clubs. You all went and did the background checks on them coming in.

“Let’s just get on with playing.”

The former QPR boss also defended the approach to the game, pointing out that he had seen success with a similar style in the past.

“Listen, there’s loads of coaches after a game you don’t win,” Beale added. “That’s the nature of the business. That’s being a football coach.

“You try to black that out and believe in what you’re doing. The team played the same way and scored a hell of a lot of goals last season. Certainly scoring lots of goals away from home.

“When it’s right, it’s right. When it’s wrong, I get it and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

“I believe that the way that we play is fine and we just have to be a bit more decisive.”

The Ibrox boss has his focus now on Servette, who reached this stage of qualifying after a dramatic win over Genk.

A 1-1 draw in Switzerland had the odds stacked against Servette and their hopes took another dive after they were reduced to ten men just three minutes into the return match in Belgium. Genk took the lead twice only for Servette to equalise and then win a penalty shoot-out.

Beale watched the game and anticipates a difficult test, but knows the prize at stake if his side can get through and then defeat PSV or Sturm Graz to reach the group stage.

“The games at this level are always tough,” he said. “I watched Servette play against Genk and the mentality that they showed was absolutely outstanding.

“We know we’ve got a tough opponent and we’re not looking any further than this game right now.

“To qualify again, financially for the club, would be very good and that’s obvious. That’s our aim. We know we’re guaranteed group stage football regardless, but at the moment we can’t look any further than tomorrow night’s first leg and making sure we get a positive result”

And the Rangers manager expects the Ibrox faithful to back the side, though he knows the players need to put in a performance that deserves the support.

“We can count on them,” he added. “We know that we can count on them.

“They’re as strong as anywhere in the world. We know that on European nights we’ve seen the stands shaking, we’ve seen the celebrations, we’ve seen it all.

“We know how important they are, and they know it as well.

“At the weekend they showed what they bring to this football club. It’s important that the players on the pitch match that and give them something to stay on their feet cheering.

“Together, it’s hugely strong. It’s a famous place to play European football, Ibrox, and that’s what makes our club special.”

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