Michael Beale: Rangers' 2-2 draw with PSV sets up 'a cup final'

The Rangers boss says his side will be positive in the return match next week.

Rangers manager Michael Beale believes his side face “a cup final” in Eindhoven next week after a 2-2 draw with PSV at Ibrox left Champions League qualification hopes in the balance.

Beale saw his side soak up pressure before taking the lead through Abdallah Sima just before half time in the play-off first leg on Tuesday.

Ibrahim Sangare drew PSV level after an hour but Rangers regained the lead when Rabbi Matondo scored to cap a swift counter-attacking move.

The Ibrox side conceded again though, with Luuk de Jong scoring from a corner and ensuring the sides would be level going into the decisive second match.

With the prestige, and financial rewards, of a place in the group stage at stake, Beale says his side will look to build on their performance, and look for ways to put PSV on the back foot.

“Naturally, we’ll go across and be extremely positive,” he said. “There was moments in tonight’s game where I thought were very good.

“I thought we scored two good goals. I thought all night we caused them problems defensively. There was areas of the game that we’d want to improve in for sure, but everything’s to play for.”

Rangers drew 2-2 with PSV at the same stage of qualification last season, and were 1-0 winners in the Netherlands to earn a place among Europe’s elite.

Beale believes his team can do it again but was frustrated they weren’t travelling to Eindhoven with a lead to defend.

“We wanted to set up next week,” the Rangers boss said. “We never had the game fully under control because at this level and against the level of opponent we’re playing against, it’s hard to have the game fully under control.

“But with ten or 12 minutes to go, we had the result under control. So we’ll be super, super disappointed we’ve conceded from a set play because Jack had a good game without having to make big saves and then we have the massive opportunity even after that to win the game.

“So we need to get rid of the frustration. It won’t help us. We need to reset. Obviously we have a game in between which might be a good thing to keep our minds on and then we’ll go across to Eindhoven and it’s a cup final.”

As he plans for next Wednesday, Beale said he took encouragement from knowing that the team had delivered strong results away from home in the past.

He said: “I don’t want anybody to underestimate us next week because it’s in this club to go put this performance on.

“We’ll have our thousands of fans travelling over there and as a team we’re going there to get this job done and we will give it everything we can.

“I think the tie is evenly set. I don’t think them and their coach are travelling home thinking ‘this is a job done’.

“They will know how hard physically that game was, at the end it looked like they had one or two bumps and bruises as well. It is finely poised.

“I think the two penalty boxes are going to be decisive. It’s important you play well between them but the most important thing is you take your chances when they come.”

PSV boss Peter Bosz remains confident his side can prevail.

He said: “I am never afraid of anything. I always think ‘go for it’.

“Even if I was there last season (when Rangers won), my mentality would be that this season we are going to make it.

“I felt we would be dominating here and they would play the counter-attack real well and really fast.

“That is how they scored their second goal. They had the energy of the crowd.

“We have to play a lot better in the return or we will not make it through. What do we need to do? Score more goals and don’t let stupid goals go in against us.”

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