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Rangers manager Michael Beale promised the biggest squad rebuild for years after another defeat by Celtic consigned them to a barren season.

Jota’s goal three minutes before half-time proved enough for Celtic to seal a Scottish Cup final clash against Inverness as they close in on the treble.

Rangers have gone six games without victory against their city rivals and Celtic have the chance to wrap up the title before they visit Ibrox on May 13.

Beale said: “Listen, I think it will be the biggest rebuild this club has seen in a number of years.

“You have to be respectful, you are coming in in November and know changes will be made.

“Every time you come to a press conference people ask you about it. I have got a group of players that I need to manage and keep moving forward and motivate for the games I have been here. It’s obvious I am not going to come out and condemn people and send people away.

“But I think it’s also obvious that we are getting to the summer and there’s going to be some change.

“If you haven’t heard any news now around certain players it would be amiss not to keep asking the same questions, because if you don’t hear anything and contracts are running out it probably gives you a good indication there’s change in the air.”

When asked whether that was the last appearance for Rangers at Hampden for Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos, whose contracts expire at the end of the season, Beale said: “Possibly, yes.”

He added: “We have been in need of the summer for a while to be honest but certainly after this outcome, I think it’s fair to say we need some new faces, some renewed energy.”

The first half was a tight affair with few clear-cut chances until Rangers collectively stopped playing in the expectation that stand-in referee Don Robertson, who replaced the injured Willie Collum late on, would blow for a Celtic free-kick.

Nicolas Raskin stood back after a body-check on Matt O’Riley but Robertson played on, Daizen Maeda nipped in front of the equally static Borna Barisic and whipped in a cross to allow Jota to head home after he had sneaked in behind James Tavernier.

Beale said: “Fine margins will generally decide big games and we have made an error again in a moment and conceded a goal and the game has been very harsh on us.

“I thought second half we took the game to Celtic, we had big moments and we haven’t executed.

“In big games you can’t have the amount of play that we had and the opportunities we had and make a mistake and get away with it.

“We are missing big chances, similar to the (Viaplay) Cup final here.”

When pressed on the circumstances behind the goal, Beale said: “It’s happened in a lot of big games this year. No-one is meaning to make mistakes but in the big moments we have done.

“I don’t know (why). We throw big words out like character and mentality… We have switched off, two or three players have switched off. They know, they are in there kicking themselves. It’s a big moment in their careers, it’s a costly moment for all of us, as a football club.

“No-one went out there to switch off. It was clear two or three did, and they score. Fair play to them, in that moment they are alive and we are not.”