Michael Beale believes Malik Tillman deserves all the accolades going after another terrific display disrupted only by his controversial goal helped Rangers to a 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on Sunday.
The 20-year-old midfielder, on loan from Bayern Munich, was at the centre of remarkable incident with the fifth-round tie sitting at 1-1.
Antonio Colak’s header had cancelled out a penalty from Jags captain Kevin Holt with Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon saving a James Tavernier penalty awarded when Tillman was fouled in the box by Stuart Bannigan.
After the home side put the ball out for Tillman to get treatment for an injury, Holt looked to launch a long ball from a throw-in back into the Gers half, but Tillman robbed him and ran through to round Sneddon and put the ball in the net, to the fury of the Jags.
Beale instructed his Rangers players to allow Scott Tiffoney to run up the pitch unopposed and equalise but the Light Blues got the winner with four minutes of normal time remaining when Connor McAvoy headed into his own net under pressure from James Sands.
The Gers boss preferred to focus on Tillman’s many positives.
He said: “Listen, since I have been here and since the first interview I said I was excited to work with him.
“I think he is a fantastic young player and he has been terrific for the last few weeks, absolutely outstanding.
“I am glad that we collectively made the decision we did because I didn’t want to be sitting here talking about Malik Tillman in a different light. He was completely unaware.
“Malik deserves things said and written about him that are the right things because his effort his fantastic, his quality is fantastic.
“He won us a penalty. He is driving up the pitch, he is taking on a lot of information for a 20-year-old. I couldn’t be happier with his contribution.”
Rangers have first option on USA international if Bayern Munich decide to sell him although it was reported recently that the German giants’ youth team boss, Danny Galm, hinted that Tillman could be a future first-team player.
Beale said: “He is a very good player and that is why he has come from such a prestigious club.
“As a 20-year-old, he is a full international, played through all the youth levels for Germany and gone to play for America through one of his parents and has played senior international as well.
“He has come into our league, he has had to adjust.
“It is not easy, we have seen players come out of the Premier League and not adjust in this league and players with big reputations have struggled.
“He is getting stronger and stronger. He is learning a new position, which will keep him in good stead moving forward playing in midfield and moving out of there.
“He is a joy to work with every single day. Such a shy, humble, quiet lad. I am glad that he is doing well.”
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