Soccer

Michael Beale confirms lengthy Connor Goldson absence after Rangers beat Hibs

Rangers boss Michael Beale bemoans more injury woe (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers boss Michael Beale bemoans more injury woe (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Michael Beale hopes for better luck on the injury front at Rangers next season as he confirmed Connor Goldson is out for 10 weeks.

The 30-year-old centre-back missed the 3-1 cinch Premiership win against Hibernian at Easter Road on Sunday with a foot injury picked up in the victory over Celtic last weekend.

Beale described the mentality of his side in winning as “absolutely fantastic” after Alfredo Morelos, Glen Kamara and Scott Wright were added to a long list of absentees, with Rabbi Matondo on the bench but unable to come on.

On-loan attacker Malik Tillman is back at Bayern Munich with a hamstring problem which has ended his season while Ben Davies, Ryan Kent, Borna Barisic, Antonio Colak, Kemar Roofe, Tom Lawrence, Steven Davis and Filip Helander were also missing.

On Goldson’s absence, Beale said: “He’ll be out for about 10 weeks. He had a funny land on his foot with a couple of minutes to go last week. He wanted to play on.

“Afterwards, we’ve had it scanned and seen a specialist so he’ll probably be about six weeks where he’s got to try and stay off it and then a four-week, five-week rehab back into the start of next season.

“All going well, he’ll be available for the first game of next season, albeit he might have a slightly modified pre-season compared to the others.

“This season seems to have been the worst season ever for the club, or certainly in my times associated with the club.

“Hopefully, that’s out of the way and next season we get a clean bill of health.

“We’ll look to strengthen every area this summer. There will be some new faces in to contribute.

“I think there’s a real clarity about the way we’re playing and I’ve no doubts that come the summer we’ll be in a stronger position squad-wise and have even more clarity after a good pre-season.”

Skipper James Tavernier celebrated his 400th competitive appearance for Rangers by beating Hibs keeper David Marshall with a 30-yard free-kick in the 33rd minute before attacker Ianis Hagi scored his first goal since January 2022, before his lengthy absence due to a knee injury.

Midfielder Todd Cantwell added a third in the 88th minute before Hibs defender Paul Hanlon reduced the deficit in added time.

Beale said: “The mentality of the group today was absolutely fantastic because the preparation couldn’t have been any worse.

“We lost Alfredo and Glen Kamara in training on Saturday, Rabbi was on the bench but wasn’t able to go on, Scott Wright we lost overnight as well.

“Scott Arfield came on but is playing through a problem, so actually coming into the game – and knowing Hibs are in such good form, unbeaten in four – I thought it might be an interesting day for us.

“I thought we were clearly the better team.”

Lee Johnson’s side remain four points behind fourth-placed Hearts and six behind Aberdeen, with European places potentially available up to fifth place in the league as long as Celtic beat Inverness in the Scottish Cup final

Hibs host Celtic on Wednesday before the Edinburgh derby against Hearts on the final day of the season and Johnson believes European football is still a possibility.

He said: “I think it’s obviously on, because there’s the potential that fifth is available as well.

“Celtic are a top team so you’d expect them to be super competitive in a cup final and all of us in the mix will be hoping that Celtic win that game for that very reason.

“But it’s going to be an important time for us over the next days and that’s why we need everybody.

“It needs to be a club performance as well as individuals and I include the fans in that.”