MICHAEL BEALE says he can take positives from this afternoon’s Old Firm derby as the manager moves forward with the squad this season.
Rangers were held to a draw at Ibrox but it was a spirited performance from the Light Blues as goals from Ryan Kent and James Tavernier overturned an early Celtic strike. However, with two minutes remaining, Kyogo Furuhashi found the target to see the game end 2-2.
The Gers boss was disappointed not to take all three points but believes the players must continue to show their levels moving forward.
Speaking to RangersTV at full-time, he said: “We conceded a poor first goal when we actually started the game quite well and it knocked us back in our belief for 10 or 15 minutes.
“We had to grind a little bit and almost clear our heads but after that I thought we started to do well, and we had two big chances with Alfredo [Morelos] and Ryan Kent. We didn't really want the half-time whistle but at half-time it was about showing a little bit more belief and showing a bit more quality with possession.
“The response in the second-half was outstanding. We were in control, we had a chance to maybe go 3-1 with Malik [Tillman] and the second-goal is a real sucker-punch in terms of us dropping deep. We had three or four chances to clear it so it is disappointing, I thought overall we performed well in the game and no one could have argued if we won it.”
Beale was pleased with the reaction from his players after the break, as two goals in the space of five minutes turned the game in Rangers’ favour.
He added: “That is exactly what we want Ibrox to be like, the players on the pitch, the fans in the stadium, excited and up and cheering the team the players jump in with that.
“We need to maintain that and we need to have that every single game here because that makes us a much stronger team and a much stronger club when it is like that - the atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic.
“I thought it was a good game, two teams went head-to-head and I thought there was nothing in it, if anything we should be more clinical and then maybe we would’ve gone away with the three points.
“We are no further behind than we were four or five weeks ago, if anything in our mind we know if we play at the level we can, we will win a lot of football matches.
“There's a lot of players that can come in and help this team move forward and can make the squad stronger. January is a huge month for us as a football club there are a lot of big games, but we have to stand tall and show our level now moving forward. I thought today was a decent performance, I am disappointed with the outcome of the result but there were a lot of things for me to be positive about.”
With Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership next week, Beale says the squad must continue to drive standards each day.
He continued: “I’m looking forward to that, it'll be another tough game, the disappointment of this result will linger for a little bit but we have got to keep moving forward.
“I have only been back with the group for the last four or five weeks. We are showing good signs and we have got to drive the standards more and more. We have got to want more from each other every day. It starts in training and starts with standards and then the performances and results will follow that.”