By Callum O'Connell

20th Sep, 2023 | 9:10pm

Michael Beale could turn to Zak Lovelace and Bailey Rice to help save his job at Rangers

Michael Beale has been under increasing pressure as Rangers manager and now could be forced to turn to the academy to help save his job after recent injury news emerged surrounding star players.

Todd Cantwell, Nicolas Raskin and Danilo have all been ruled out with long-term injuries, while Kieran Dowell may return sooner than expected, but Beale has suggested he could call on Bailey Rice and Zak Lovelace to fill the holes.

It is often seen at clubs when the senior players aren’t performing to the right standard, academy players can be called upon, with their desire to impress and make a name for themselves helping them to step up and perform.

That may now be the case at Rangers, although their inclusion could be born out of necessity rather than a desire to bring some passion to the side, and the young gems could be turned to despite the mounting pressure over the manager’s role.

Speaking in his press conference on 20 September ahead of the Europa League clash with Real Betis, as shared by Football Scotland, Beale said: “The injuries to the three mentioned, Danilo, Todd Cantwell and Nico Raskin isn’t ideal. They’re three important players.

“There’s a bit of good news around Dowell, we’re hoping he’ll back by the Livingston game into the game with Aberdeen so we get another number back but we still had 20 senior players today.

“We’ve got one or two of the academy players we’ve got eyes on who have a real bright future in Zak Lovelace and Bailey Rice so this might be an opportunity for them to step up in domestic games as well.”

Putting faith in the young players at the club during a time of need for the boss is an impressive call to make. Fans always want the club’s young stars to step up and take their chances, and they are always pleased when a manager gives them that opportunity.

It may not be enough to save his job – that can only be achieved with the results on the pitch – but making brave calls in difficult situations is certainly the sign of a positive and forward-thinking boss, despite the current discourse around his job situation.

There’s a certain amount of risk involved in making a call like that, but it’s a risk Beale seems to be willing to take, and he will be hoping his faith is repaid in performances on the pitch.

In other Rangers news, Aaron Ramsey has revealed he is still gutted about his failed Rangers spell.