By Craig Rae
Michael Beale believes that yesterday’s Old Firm Victory sets him up perfectly for next season after Rangers romped to a 3-0 win over their dear old rivals.
The victory gave the Rangers fans something to cheer for after a disastrous campaign, but Rangers fans will be cautious as the victory does nothing in terms of final placings.
Todd Cantwell was the obvious man of the match, and it was him that opened the scoring after just five minutes to give Rangers the lead over Celtic for the first time in nearly two years,
At the press conference, the manager said:
“I’ve got all the belief and faith, but it gives the fans a lot of oxygen in the summer and something to hold on to and believe moving forward.”
“I think it gives us some oxygen going into the summer and the exciting period we have now of recruiting some players in.”
Ibrox was looking splendid in the sunshine and the fans created a sea of red, white, and blue to cheer their side onto victory and Beale was complimentary of the supporters after they have been through a difficult campaign.
“They’ve had a tough season. I thought they were outstanding, and we promise to build a stronger Rangers next year and come back and try and do them proud. But that’s how I want Rangers to come across to the outside world in terms of the energy and passion on the pitch and in the stand.
John Souttar put in an immense defensive display to help Rangers to their second clean sheet in as many weeks and it was an emotional moment for the Scotland international as he headed home his first goal for his boyhood heroes in the biggest match of all, a dream come true for the centre back after the tough moments he has been through this season.
“It’s been a frustrating season for me and the team, so to get that goal was a big moment. It’s why you play football, to score big goals like that and thankfully I did. When you’ve been out for so long you dream, and that’s what keeps you going, it’s what you keep working hard for, for days like that.”
The players clearly know that there will be wholesale changes in the summer and Souttar mentioned this in his post-match comments.
“They’ll be a lot of changes in the summer, so everybody had a point to prove individually or collectively and you seen that today, whether you came off the bench or started there was 11 boys who had a point to prove, and I think we did that today.”
Psychologically, this game will be huge boost for Michael Beale on a personal level as he manages to get that monkey off his back and beat Celtic in 90 minutes which a few managers have failed to do in the last few years or so.
He would’ve been under severe pressure heading into the first clash at Ibrox next season and a victory today means he knows he has what it takes to beat them.
Only three games of the season remain with Hibs away at Easter Road coming up next.