Boss defends Wilson after fan protest

By Graham Swann



dmg media (UK)


RANGERS boss Michael Beale last night offered a firm defence of Ross Wilson after the Ibrox sporting director was the target of yet more protests from fans. Ahead of yesterday’s 4-2 win at Motherwell, the travelling support help up banners reading ‘time for change’ and with lines through the faces of Wilson and managing director Stewart Robertson. Rangers fans have been vocal for several weeks and expressed their anger at the club’s hierarchy amid transfer uncertainty affecting several first-team stars. But Beale, who accepts fans have a right to protest, has called for unity and claims there are people outside the club who want them to fail. ‘I’ve always worked well with Ross,’ he said. ‘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 me. ‘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 team’s form has been really good. ‘Before, they can be disgruntled. But now we’re moving forward. I’d prefer it if we were on the same page. The work going on behind the scenes towards next season is exciting. It can’t all be revealed now. ‘Ross’s sole job isn’t recruitment. My job is to win football games and make the fans happy. That’s what I’m trying to do. ‘I understand the frustrations of the fans but I think we’re stronger when we’re all together. ‘Hopefully sooner rather than later, that will come back because it’s important. There are enough people outside of Rangers who don’t want us to do well, so let’s make sure we’re together.’ Captain James Tavernier scored his 98th Rangers goal at Fir Park to make it 1-1 in the first half before Fashion Sakala, Todd Cantwell and Malik Tillman added to the scoring. Hailing Tavernier, Beale added: ‘I had a laugh with him — he should have had the 100 today. His numbers are fantastic.’ Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell admitted he was seeking ‘clarity’ from VAR after several goals were checked. The hosts also lost midfielder Callum Slattery to a second yellow card for catching Cantwell with an arm in the closing stages. Kettlewell said: ‘He’s not tried to hurt the opponent. For me, that is never a second yellow card.’