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Michael Beale believes it is time for Jose Cifuentes to step up after revealing Nicolas Raskin would miss the Europa League opener against Real Betis at Ibrox on Thursday night.

The Gers midfielder picked up a calf injury in the 2-0 cinch Premiership win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday.

Raskin joins fellow midfielder Todd Cantwell and Brazilian striker Danilo on the sidelines, the latter having an operation on a fractured cheekbone sustained in scoring the first goal in Perth.

Ecuador international Cifuentes has had an unconvincing beginning to his Gers career after signing from Los Angeles FC in the summer and will vie with Ryan Jack for a midfield berth in the coming weeks.

Gers boss Beale said: “Nico is out until after the international break with a calf problem.

“He took a kick in the game and it has given him a problem. So him, Todd and Danilo are missing.

“I saw Danilo yesterday, he still looks sore if I’m honest. He had successful surgery on the areas, it is not just one area.

“He will be back in non-contact training at the back end of the international break, so ideally he will be back the first week after the October international break, but it might be a couple of weeks after that.

“The reason Cifuentes didn’t play at the weekend is that he didn’t arrive back from South America until the Friday morning where he played at altitude, so he is ready to go and Ryan Jack is there as well so it doesn’t change in us having options.

“He (Jose) came in very late and did some good things in his first couple of games. And then he was away on international duty.

“This is his moment, he has been here for a while now.

“I said recently that the new players have been here long enough now. He was the last one to come in, but I still think he is ready.”

Asked if Cifuentes needs to adjust to the speed of Scottish football, Beale, who revealed Cantwell could be back for the Hibernian game at Ibrox after the international break, said: “Maybe, but he played against Argentina last week with his international team. He is experienced. He has played at a World Cup.

“The domestic games are a little bit more different than the European games for him, so let’s see.

“He is clearly a talented player and the more he plays, the more people will be aware of that.

“He is a player we brought in with high hopes for and this gives him an opportunity to have a run in the team now.”

Beale is in no doubt as to the quality Real Betis will bring to Ibrox, but in a group which also contains Cypriot side Limassol and Sparta Prague from the Czech Republic, he admits the Light Blues “should” be looking to get through the section successfully.

The former QPR boss said: “It’s one game at a time. We need to get out of the group and get to the knock-out stages and see how it goes. It’s a good group we are in.

“Real Betis were sixth in LaLiga and they won their Europa League group which included Roma.

“Roma went to the final, so they’ve shown their pedigree in this competition and they recruited well in the summer too.

“It’s a competitive group, but we’re expected to get out of it. I think we should be looking to get out of this group.”

Hearts and Hibs are already out of Europe and Aberdeen have dropped down to the Europa Conference League while Celtic lost their first Champions League group game 2-0 to Feyenoord on Tuesday night.

Beale believes his first responsibilities are to the Ibrox club.

He said: “We’re not doing it for Scotland, we’re doing it for Rangers. It’s important we do it for our club.

“I follow the other clubs keenly in Europe and I want them to do well, but my focus is Rangers.”