By Ronnie Esplin, PA
Michael Beale extolled the virtues of Ross Wilson following another protest by Rangers fans against the Ibrox club’s sporting director.
Before the 4-2 cinch Premiership win over Motherwell at Fir Park, the away supporters held up banners with the faces of Wilson and managing director Stewart Robertson crossed out alongside the phrase ‘time for change’ – a continuation of a theme among a section of the Gers support this season.
Goals from James Tavernier, Fashion Sakala, Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman was enough to win the three points, with Kevin van Veen and Bevis Mugabi scoring for the home side who had Callum Slattery sent off in the 76th minute for picking up a second yellow card.
And after his side’s victory, former Rangers assistant coach Beale – who has lost once in 19 games since returning to the club to take over as boss from Giovanni van Bronckhorst in November – spoke in positive terms about Wilson.
He said: “I’ve always worked well with Ross. He came in when I was previously at the club and he was influential in bringing me back.
“We work fantastically well together every day. He’s a 24/7 football person, similar to myself, so we have the same energy.
“We’re off working and looking at players. The two of us control the atmosphere in the training ground. We’re the two main figures there.
“I understand the fans’ frustration but they don’t know everything that goes on and the work that goes in at the club.
“I understand they pay their money and pack out every away ground at home and in Europe.
“They have a right to – in the right way – put across their opinion. But since I came back the form of the team has been really good.
“Before, they can be disgruntled. But now we’re looking forward and moving forward. I’d prefer it if we were on the same page.
“I think the work going on behind the scenes towards next season is exciting. It can’t all be revealed now.
“We’re trying to make the fans happy. I understand their frustrations but I think we’re much stronger when we’re all together.
“There are enough people outside of Rangers who don’t want us to do well so let’s make sure we’re together.”
Beale insists the disgruntlement is not affecting the Gers squad but noted the very public nature of the protests.
“It’s not something that has made its way into the changing room,” said the former QPR boss, who called for his side to be more “ruthless” in front of goal.
“We know the campaign has been disappointing at times but all we can do is keep winning the next game and win it well.
“It’s not something that has impacted the group because we’re winning.
“But it was so visual today so it’s there for everyone to see.”
It was a first defeat for Stuart Kettlewell since taking over, initially as caretaker, from Steven Hammell last month.
Kettlewell called for clarity on Sakala’s goal which put Rangers 2-1 up and Slattery’s sending off for trying to fend off Cantwell with his arm.
He said: “I need some clarity. The Sakala offside for the third goal which was a massive moment in the game.
“I’d also like clarity on Calum Slattery’s second yellow card. There’s contact but he’s trying to protect the ball and he’s not got awareness of the guy behind him and the contact’s made on Cantwell’s shoulder.
“That becomes really frustrating.
“I’m not calling anybody out, I’m genuinely asking for clarity. But the third goal it looks to me that our player Dan Casey is the blue line which is behind the red line which is Sakala from the pictures I’ve seen.
“From what I’ve seen it looks like he’s offside. We never berated the referee or the fourth official, we’re not hammering the system in any way, but it’s a big goal at a big time.”