Rangers manager Michael Beale has told his players they need to deal with the schedule and do more after being booed off against Motherwell on Saturday.
Both the Ibrox support and Beale let the players know their performance was unacceptable after they clung on for a 1-0 victory against the Steelmen, courtesy of a deflected goal off Cyriel Dessers.
Rangers looked lacklustre at times following their impressive Europa League win against Real Betis three days earlier and Beale saw his options diminish further after Tom Lawrence (calf) failed to make the game and Rabbi Matondo (knee) went off injured in the first half.
Rangers now host Livingston in the Viaplay Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and Beale will be without both players as well as Nico Raskin, Danilo, Todd Cantwell and Kieran Dowell.
Beale said: “I can’t plan the schedule. It is what it is. We played nine games in the first month of the season, we’re playing seven now in 21 days.
“All of the injuries we’ve got have come through the games so if we lose Rabbi now a long period of time, we lost Tom midweek, those have come through the games which is unfortunate.
“But this club has been used to paying in Europe. It did take a big effort against Betis, a big emotional effort and then we are playing again (on Sunday).
“But we know what the schedule is. We only made three changes but the players coming in, the team on paper I am demanding more from them. I’m demanding more from all of us.
“If we go down that road of ‘tiredness’ it’s a dangerous road because the schedule’s not changing.”
Of the injured players, only Dowell has a chance of returning for Saturday’s cinch Premiership clash with Aberdeen at Ibrox.
However, Beale will have the option of starting Kemar Roofe and Abdallah Sima against Livi after the forwards were restricted to substitute roles on Sunday because of concerns over their workload.
“We have two more games this week,” Beale said. “The game on Wednesday and the game on the weekend is really important again.
“So the games are not going anywhere and we’ve got no players coming back.
“It’s down to me and that group of players to respond and show better than we did (on Sunday) because that was nowhere near good enough. Nowhere near.”
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