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The problem with losing the opening game of a season as a Rangers or Celtic manager is the immediate pressure it invites.

Ange Postecoglou managed to stick that out and recovered fairly quickly to find his feet in Glasgow so it will be silly to read too much into one bad day at the office.

But the issue for Michael Beale after his weekend defeat at Rugby Park is that his audition time for the managerial role has long since passed.


This summer has been a rebuilding project for Beale as he has looked to put his own stamp on the team he inherited midway through the season. And the issue on Saturday evening in Ayrshire was that so many old problems were visible in a new team.

The lack of cutting edge, the lack of cohesion from middle to front and the lack of ideas will all be a source of concern for Beale.

It also means that from the off, they are trailing a Celtic side who still looked to be feeling their way into Brendan Rodgers’ way of playing.

With Servette looming on Wednesday night as Rangers look to grab a golden ticket to the UEFA Champions League, there will be a heightened anxiety around the clash that can open the gateway to a significant financial reward.

The opening derby of the season, just four games into the season, also now carries an additional layer of pressure.

How Beale’s Rangers side cope with that pressure will shape how the season pans out.


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