Rangers manager Michael Beale has claimed that previous showings against Hearts and Celtic justified his midfield selection in the League Cup Final v Celtic.

The Ibrox gaffer was speaking as Rangers were defeated 2-1 by their Old Firm rivals at Hampden, with the incoming Ibrox boss at the centre of criticisms for several key decisions in the match.

Rangers v Celtic - Viaplay Cup Final
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

At the forefront of this was the decision not to start January signing Nicolas Raskin and instead play Glen Kamara, John Lundstram and Malik Tillman.

It was a decision which backfired spectacularly, with Lundstram and Kamara run ragged in the middle of the park and now major questions being raised over their suitability as Rangers players.

Malik Tillman, who was returning from injury, also failed to impress and all three were eventually hooked in a devastating triple substitution which came too late in the match.

Michael Beale was also criticised for failing to change the players at half-time, whilst the decisions to sub Alfredo Morelos despite the Colombian scoring with the club trailing Celtic by goal has also led to the notion that the Ibrox manager bottled it at Hampden.

Michael Beale defends Rangers selections v Celtic

Speaking after the game, Michael Beale explained his Rangers selections for the Celtic game and claimed that this midfield has previously impressed in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox and 3-0 win away at Hearts.

“Since I’ve come back in I’ve tried to provide some consistency and clarity in terms of messages that the team are comfortable with,” said Michael Beale [Rangers Review].

“And that same team played ever so well in the Old Firm at New Year, it played the best performance in terms of 90 minutes since I come back away at Hearts and on that night it was excellent.

“So we had our goals on the pitch, Tillman and the front three have been in fine form since I’ve come back. There’s over 20 goals in that team since I’ve come back.

“So, it’s fine. You’ve got two players come into the club and have played two-and-a-half games each against opponents where you’ve got the ball.

“There was a little bit more we had to do today defensively and also match legs so there’s no qualms in terms of performance I just felt at that moment I needed to shake the tree a little bit.”

Meanwhile, up to 14 Rangers players’ futures hang in the balance.

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