Beale turns attention to big European night after Rangers’ cup comeback

Rangers beat Greenock Morton 2-1 at Ibrox on Saturday.

Michael Beale turns attention to big European night after Rangers’ cup comeback SNS Group

Michael Beale called for a big European night at Ibrox on Tuesday after Rangers had to come from behind to beat Morton 2-1 in their Viaplay Cup last-16 tie at Ibrox.

Ahead of the first leg of their Champions League play-off game against PSV Eindhoven, the Light Blues boss made eight changes for the visit of the Championship side, with star players like skipper James Tavernier, John Souttar, Todd Cantwell, Nicolas Raskin, Ryan Jack and Borna Barisic missing altogether.

Rangers were shocked in the 52nd minute when Ton skipper Grant Gillespie scored with a penalty following a VAR check but Gers striker Cyriel Dessers levelled from the spot on the hour mark, also following VAR intervention.

Substitute Danilo drove in a second for the Light Blues in the 68th minute and although Morton goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald was called into action several times during the game, it took a late challenge by Gers debutant Johnly Yfeko on George Oakley in added time to prevent the Morton striker getting a shot away.

Turning his attention to the visit of PSV, Beale said: “It’s got to be a typical Rangers, Ibrox, European night where the fans have to be up and the players have to take the game to PSV.

“It’s a two-legged game. Regardless of the result, it will go to the second leg.

“Our aim is to win the game but we get nothing for the end result on Tuesday.

“It’s a huge game. It’s a game we’re looking forward to, one where the two teams will throw a lot of punches and we have to make sure ours stick.

“If we get chances like we have had in the last few weeks we have to take them and we’ll be in a good place but if we are as wasteful as we’ve been, we’ll be having the same conversation. It’s clear where we need to improve as a team.

“A bit’s on me (today) because I made eight changes and changed the shape. It won’t be a team that plays regularly for Rangers. It will settle and become stronger and there’s no better opportunity than to show what we want our team to be.”

On another patchy performance by his side, Beale said: “Firstly, well done to Johnly Yfeko on his first start.

“Rabbi (Matondo) was eye-catching but Jamie MacDonald was really on form. We started well with good energy, created big chances but didn’t take one.

“The VAR decision comes then you find yourself 1-0 down and you think it’s maybe one of those days.

“But after that we got back to being dominant and Jamie made a couple of saves but we are through.

“Now it gives us a chance to train with the majority of the group fresh for Monday and Tuesday so the plan to get the win and not play everyone has worked.”

Morton boss Dougie Imrie, who named only four substitutes, was proud of his side’s efforts.

He said: “I can take a lot of positives. My team were terrific from start to finish and I’m really proud of them.

“A VAR decision and mistake by ourselves cost us but better teams will come here and get battered. So for the 90 mins, we were brilliant.

“With George’s chance at the end, we could have got 2-2 and took it extra-time and I am proud of the team, especially with the bench having four subs there.

“I’m not saying the VAR penalties are or not but from my view, both were soft. I’d need to see them again though.

“If I can get that every week from my players I’d like to think we’ll be OK.”

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