By Anthony Onifade

18th Sep, 2023 | 4:10pm

James Tavernier eases Michael Beale sack fears at Rangers after 'Unbelievable' display in 2-0 win v St Johnstone

The pressure eased on Michael Beale as Rangers recorded a comfortable 2-0 cinch Premiership win over St Johnstone and the Ibrox boss had James Tavernier to thank once again.

The Gers boss was under intense scrutiny following defeats to Celtic and PSV Eindhoven before the international break with Daily Record reporting on 6 September, that chairman John Bennett and other Ibrox chiefs were “ready to stand behind” Beale for now despite the disappointing defeats.

Daily Record journalist Keith Jackson also reported on the paper’s website on 6 September that Bennett “will resist calls” to remove the under-fire Gers boss “despite the outpouring of fan fury” after the 1-0 loss to Celtic on Sunday (3 September), but Beale will have to “deliver an immediate upturn in results”.

Such reports will not have been helped by the rumours flying around that the Ibrox chiefs had approached former Chelsea and Brighton coach Graham Potter about replacing Beale [The Sun, 13 September], while Birmingham coach John Eustace was linked with the role [Daily Mail, 6 September].

However, Beale certainly put those sack rumours to bed for the time being after a comfortable and professional display against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday 16 September.

Brazilian forward Danilo kickstarted a crucial victory for his under-pressure manager on his return to the XI, but his brave header came at a cost as he had to be immediately substituted along with home captain Liam Gordon after a nasty collision which caused a fractured cheekbone which means he could be out for several weeks [Daily Record, 17 September].

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Steven MacLean’s side, who remain winless at the bottom of the table, failed to take advantage of the second-half openings that fell their way before substitute Rabbi Matondo slotted in from a perfectly weighted Tom Lawrence pass to put the icing on the cake on a pivotal victory.

And one man who once again delivered a quite timely and influential performance when his manager needed him most was Ibrox veteran and captain Tavernier, who received glowing praise from former Ibrox man Kris Boyd after his “Unbelievable” (Sky Sports Main Event, 16 September, 2:36pm) assist for Danilo’s opener.

For too long Rangers have had to rely on Tavernier’s brilliance but this time it was Beale desperately needing his help and the Ibrox assist king proved crucial once again.

As well as his sublime assist, Tavernier recorded a whopping 114 touches, successfully completed 85% of his passes, registered five key passes, and one big chance created [SofaScore], while helping his team to a valuable clean sheet.

Whenever the pressure is on Rangers and Beale, they can always count on Tavernier to provide the telling contribution needed to ease any concerns at Ibrox, but more crucially, the veteran full-back may well have saved Beale’s job, for now.

In other Rangers news, one Ibrox player scored a dreadful “3/10” score for his ineffective display v St Johnstone with player ratings shared.