Rangers boss Michael Beale ‘glad pre-season is out of the way’

Michael Beale watched Rangers battle back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 against TSG Hoffenheim in Germany then revealed he was “glad pre-season is out the way”.

John Souttar and Ben Davies missed the friendly due to a sickness bug and with Conor Goldson working his way back to full fitness, veteran defender Leon Balogun, one of eight signings this summer, and 20-year-old Johnly Yfeko started in central defence.

Rangers trailed to goals from Pavel Kaderabek and Ihlas Bebou before skipper James Tavernier reduced the deficit after the break with a penalty after Ozan Kabak brought down Cyriel Dessers.

Tavernier then provided the cross for Sam Lammers to head home and level the scores.

Brazilian striker Danilo, signed from Feyenoord on a five-year deal on Friday, and Dujon Sterling, who had recovered from a knock, came on in the second half to make their first appearances, along with several other substitutes.

Rangers have also lost to Newcastle, beaten Hamburg and lost to Olympiacos in preparation for their cinch Premiership opener against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on August 5 and Gers boss Beale is keen for the real action to start.

He told Rangers’ official Twitter account: “I was frustrated at half-time because even though we had a disastrous 24 hours with illness in the camp, I thought the two goals we let in in the first half were really poor.

“And actually we created some big chances ourselves and our last pass was out.

“I thought in the second half, we were very good. There was chances at both ends but the least we deserved was a draw.

“We were decent enough in possession, poor defensively and we improved in both areas in the second half.

“But the most important thing, again, was to face some challenges, try to problem-solve and overcome them and it was a good challenge today.

“It’s amazing. You come here with two defenders in Leon and Johnly and you end the game with no central defenders and these are scenarios that might happen in the season. So it wasn’t ideal in terms of preparation, everything like that.

“Overall, it was a really good friendly. The pitch was dry, the heat in the stadium, everyone could feel as well which made it a slow game at times but yes, food for thought and I’m glad pre-season is now out of the way.

“I can’t say I overly enjoy pre-season because I just want it out of the way, I want the games to be out of the way.

“We are integrating a lot of new players and we are also integrating Tom Lawrence and Kemar Roofe back from long injuries.

“We’ve had illness and injury and everything in between preparing for this game. It was our fourth game in 12 days and it’s been heavy on the legs, but it’s out of the way now and we get this nice normal week to Kilmarnock.

“We have the fantastic opportunity on Tuesday to train in front of our fans in an open day and then it will be onto business into the weekend.

“We’re looking forward to going to Kilmarnock and starting the season.”

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