By James Murray

17th Sep, 2023 | 8:40pm

Journalist makes 'unthinkable' Rangers board admission as Michael Beale walks Ibrox tightrope

It would be “unthinkable” for the Rangers board to continue backing Michael Beale if they don’t win their next three domestic fixtures, according to Andrew Smith.

Writing on The Scotsman website, the journalist said the Englishman’s backers in the boardroom would struggle to back him if he doesn’t record victories against Motherwell and Aberdeen in the SPFL and in the Viaplay Cup quarter-final clash against Livingston.

He added that the Gers manager’s tightrope “isn’t a short one” after the club have had a disappointing start to the season despite the 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday (16 September).

He said: “It would surely be unthinkable to the Englishman’s backers in the boardroom for him to preside over failures against any one of Motherwell next Sunday, Livingston in Wednesday’s Viaplay Cup quarter-final – a trophy the fanbase cannot countenance eluding them after Celtic’s elimination – and Aberdeen the following weekend, bitter rivals who appear in complete disarray. Beale’s tightrope walk isn’t a short one.”

No margin for error

There really is no margin for error for Beale domestically over the next few weeks after picking up a couple of damaging results at the start of the season.

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The opening-day defeat to Kilmarnock piled the pressure onto the Light Blues boss before the 5-1 humbling against PSV and the loss to Celtic just days later meant his job was – and still is – very much on the line.

It’s unclear exactly what the expectations will be for the Europa League game against Real Betis on Thursday (21 September), but the minimum requirement will be for his side to compete with the La Liga side.

There are no excuses to be had for not picking up maximum points in the league over the coming weeks, though, as they can’t afford to lose any more ground in the title race.

The absolute must is to beat Livingston in the cup because, following Celtic’s loss to Kilmarnock, that trophy is there for the taking.

In other Rangers news, a BBC journalist has made a “significant” admission about Beale’s future at Ibrox.