Michael Beale tells PSV they ‘better not’ underestimate Rangers as he drops huge selection hint for play-off second leg

MICHAEL BEALE has three words for PSV: Don’t underestimate us.

The Rangers coach saw his side twice eliminated by the Dutch in the first leg of the Champions League play-offs at Ibrox.

Michael Beale is confident his Rangers side will go into next week's second leg


Michael Beale is confident his Rangers side will go into next week’s second legPhoto credit: EPA

Goals from Abdallah Sima and Rabbi Matondo gave Gers the lead but the visitors equalized each time, first through Ibrahim Sangare and later through captain Luuk de Jong.

Beale was optimistic about the team’s performance and felt they could have won the game in the end.

He said TNT Sports: “We played against a really good opponent, we wanted to prepare the draw for next week, we had it where we wanted it maybe ten minutes before the end and in the end we had a great chance with Danilo.”

“We must not be frustrated. We have to get on with the league game this weekend and then it’s a damn good game, it’s a clear penalty shootout.”

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“We’re going to go there and try it properly again.”

The Gers boss praised the somewhat unorthodox first three Sima, Cyriel Dessers and Todd Cantwell.

Beale said that Dessers in particular did well.

“I thought the first three worked really hard,” he began.

“I thought it was Cyriel Desser’s best performance for Rangers so far and you can see he’s up to date, physically mastering the centre-backs and winning that fight because he ended up having two assists.”

“And I’m happy for Abdallah Sima about the goal.

“There were moments in the game where I wished I had more possession, but you have to think about the size of the game and the opponent you’re playing against.”

“We scored two fantastic goals and we’re unlucky not to score a third just before the end.”

Although PSV had the lion’s share of possession, they didn’t look any stronger than Rangers at the back.

That gives Beale confidence ahead of the crucial second leg in Eindhoven.

He said: “They are an extremely talented team going forward. I think everyone can see that in de Jong, but their wingers are excellent too.”

“Defensively we had to be strong and our disappointment is that we kept Jack (Butland) pretty clean and conceded a second goal from a set piece.”

“But at the other end of the field, we think we can hurt them and we showed that tonight, in part.”

“We have to show that even more next week in Eindhoven.”

Speaking of next week, Beale hinted he could start with a line-up similar to tonight’s.

He said: “I think we have the legs in both of their middle halves so they have to come for us in front of their fans next week and we’re going to get spaces that we don’t usually get domestically.”

“The two goalscorers tonight are what they bring to our team. It’s about building a diverse squad.”

“We have players like Cantwell, Lammers, Tom Lawrence and Ianis Hagi who can play between the lines, but we need people in big spaces who can run behind.”

“Those two tonight are definitely giving us that.”

And Beale urged Matondo to show after scoring his first competitive goal for the club that he too deserves a regular starting XI.

“It’s a reward for the work he’s done in pre-season.

“His start to the season was good. It’s a tough old jersey sometimes so this goal will do him a lot of good.”

“He took a chance and can he now consistently do that for us?”

In a final warning to PSV, Beale told Peter Bosz’s men that they had better not take his side lightly when traveling to the Netherlands.

He said: “I don’t think they will underestimate us. But better not.”

“We will take our away fans there and try.”

“Our away form in Europe is really strong. This is a PSV side who haven’t been beaten since February and we were close to achieving that.”

Beale admitted he would like more attacking power from his team next week, with more involvement from James Tavernier and Borna Barisic.

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“When we split the ball in midfield we had really good counterattack chances,” he said.

“That’s the key. Can we get James and Borna a little further up the field because that’s the only thing missing from our game tonight.”

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Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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