Rangers manager Michael Beale has explained that tactics were behind his decision not to use Cyriel Dessers from the bench against St Johnstone.
The Belgian-born Nigerian international striker, 28, is a man under pressure following a reported £4.5m move from relegated Serie A side Cremonese.
As Michael Beale chose to stick with Cyriel Dessers in the devastating 1-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox a fortnight ago, instead subbing off Kemar Roofe with the side chasing a goal, boos rang out in Govan.
Whilst this was more aimed at Michael Beale’s tactics, the vociferous reaction to the substitution wasn’t exactly a massive vote of confidence for Cyriel Dessers.
With the striker dropped to the bench for the eventual 2-0 win over St Johnstone, Rangers instead opted to go with Brazilian counterpart Danilo alongside Kemar Roofe.
It looked to be a justified decision with the ex-Feyenoord forward opening the scoring, but when a clash with Liam Gordon forced Danilo off the park, you’ll excuse some for thinking Michael Beale would’ve turned to Cyriel Dessers.
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Instead the Rangers manager looked towards Senegalese Brighton loanee Abdallah Sima and Cyriel Dessers failed to get off the bench in the match.
Michael Beale explains Cyriel Dessers snub
Speaking after the game, Michael Beale explained that Danilo’s inclusion in the starting lineup came after a solid two weeks of training whilst Abdallah Sima’s pace and directness was viewed as a greater weapon against the St Johnstone backline.
“With Danilo, he’s had a couple of bits going on and he’s had this two weeks to get himself fits and goes and scores,” Beale told the press after the game.
“It was a real big moment for Danilo to get the injury at the time.
“It’s something he (Danilo) has got in the box, he is that type of striker, that the movement with Kemar playing close to him you’ve always got two in there.
“Tom’s a good runner off the ball in the box. It was an area that we targeted with St Johnstone up and around their centre-backs.
“That’s why we brought Abdallah Sima on because of the movement down the lines.
“The aim of the game was to play down the side of the centre-halves and play with a two close together and I feel that ultimately that’s what’s won us the game.”
It appears Michael Beale wanted to get across that the decision to drop Cyriel Dessers from this match was a tactical one.
Cyriel Dessers has played nine games for Rangers so far with the striker scoring twice – in the 2-1 Champions League QR3 win over Servette and from the penalty spot in a 2-1 League Cup win over Greenock Morton.