Cutting into the nine-point lead held by Ange Postecoglou’s side won’t be the Englishman’s immediate aim when he takes charge of the Ibrox for the first time competitively as Hibs are hosted on Thursday evening. Instead, that will simply be returning Rangers to winning ways regularly. Beale landed the Ibrox post as the result of predecessor Giovanni van Bronckhorst being relieved of his duties on the back of only two victories in five outings before the World Cup break. That scenario leaves him reluctant to indulge in any big pronouncements about championship possibilities across the remaining 23 games.
“I think the group need to start winning football matches, if I’m honest. All that talk is miles ahead,” Beale said when asked if the club’s players still believed they could win the league. “This time last year a similar points lead was overturned by more points than is required to turn this around [with a 10 point swing after Christmas]. But let’s be honest about it. Ange and his team at the moment, no-one is beating them.
“So it’s important that, yeah, if we win our games and give ourselves an opportunity in the derbies to beat them. Great. But also we need some other teams to chip away at them as well. All we can do is win the next game in front of us. I could sit here and say ‘yes, we can get back in it' then tomorrow doesn’t go well and I’d look an absolute fool. I think at this moment in time, inside we are extremely ambitious. But what we have to do is perform well in each game. Over time, I think it will get better. That’s the idea. The style will become more clear, players will get more fit to the style. We’ll recruit players to the style and move forward behind a real strong idea of how I want us to play. Every coach would say that but I think this group needs real clarity.”
Meanwhile, Beale has teased a contract extension for a senior player who is not Scottish, to be announced imminently. He would not divulge a name, but insisted it was not Ryan Kent.