Beale wants to recruit 'spine' to help Rangers challenge Celtic
Michael Beale is looking to insert a “spine” of longevity into his Rangers squad which can help wrest the cinch Premiership title back from Celtic.
The Ibrox club ended the season trophy-less with their Old Firm rivals clinching the domestic treble to make it five trophies out of six in the last two campaigns.
Beale, who took over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst last November, brought in Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin during the January transfer window and so far this summer he has added 25-year-old midfielder Kieran Dowell from Norwich and 23-year-old right-back Dujon Sterling from Chelsea, with goalkeeper Jack Butland due to join from Crystal Palace in July.
Asked how Rangers bridge the gap to Celtic next season, the former QPR boss told Sky Sports Scotland: “We start how we’re ending with our style being very clear, our energy being very strong on the pitch in terms of our pressing and the bits out of possession.
“Make sure that we’re really hard to beat then allow our quality to come through.
“We’ll look to recruit a spine that’s enabled to stay at Rangers for the next three to five years to build on.
“You’ve seen the start of that with Nico Raskin and Todd Cantwell coming in and Kieran Dowell. We’ll look to add to that with a little bit of experience but certainly in terms of quality in the final third.
“You’ll be able to tell by my face at the start of pre-season whether I’ve been successful in getting everyone that I want but either way we’ll come back into pre-season next year with a few new ideas that I’ve wanted to implement.
“We need to go and recruit a certain type of player for that. We’ll come back stronger.
“Our league form in the last 24 games would say if we can get to that stage where we are now, we’ll be in the mix.
“It’ll be about getting to the March international break where we need to be and then going for it.”
Beale, former assistant coach to Steven Gerrard at Rangers, started last season as boss of QPR before returning to Ibrox to take over the hot seat.
Assessing a first year in management, he said: “It’s probably everything I wished it to be in terms of being a natural transition from being an assistant for many years.
“My desire was to become a manager. Two different leagues in one season, a lot of drama in between but I’ve had a lot of experience in that.
“The size of the clubs are different. I loved my time at Queens Park Rangers with Les Ferdinand and the staff there. It was really important to me before coming back to Rangers.
“The opportunity to come here, I didn’t think would come anywhere as near as quickly as it did. This is a juggernaut of a club and everything that comes with it but I’ve been pleased with my staff and how they’ve handled it.
“I’ve been pleased with the support I’ve had from the club and everybody around the backroom team.
“There’s a tinge of disappointment because I felt we could have done better. We’ve won a lot of games but in the real key moments we’ve tended to shoot ourselves in the foot.
“That will be in the forefront of my mind going for the recruitment this summer.
“It’s a really important summer for me, the football club, the fans and ultimately for the players in the squad as well.”