By Daniel Lewis

15th Sep, 2023 | 1:40pm

Rangers: Michael Beale update on Friday could prove to be final nail in coffin at Ibrox

It is widely accepted that the only way Michael Beale is going to keep hold of his Rangers job is by stringing together a run of positive results over the coming days and weeks.

Unfortunately for the Gers boss, he has now lost his best performer in Todd Cantwell for a key run of fixtures.

Speaking to reporters on Friday [15 September] ahead of the following day’s trip to St Johnstone, Beale confirmed Cantwell “will miss the next three or four games” due to an issue sustained to his right knee against Celtic.

Beale went on to add that the midfielder will return in “three or four weeks”, which would actually mean he misses all seven matches up until the next international break, while Kieran Dowell is also out for the same length of time.

It is far from ideal for Beale, who knows that a defeat at St Johnstone this weekend could well end with the axe being swung.

Cantwell has hardly been at his best his campaign – no Rangers player has – but he was superb upon joining in January, scoring six goals and assisting four more in 16 Scottish Premiership appearances in the second half of last season.

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Beale could have done with that type of creativity and goalscoring threat, which admittedly has been missing in recent weeks, for the games with St Johnstone, Real Betis, Motherwell, Livingston, Aberdeen, Aris Limassol and St Mirren over the next month.

Instead, he will again have to chop and change the side accordingly for this string of crucial games and make do without one of his big-game regulars.

On that basis, this latest injury setback may well prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Beale.

In other Rangers news, Barry Ferguson has given his thoughts on whether James Tavernier should remain as captain.