RANGERS manager Michael Beale has defended his midfielder Todd Cantwell against allegations of going to ground ‘a bit easy’ after Chris Sutton made the accusation following the weekend win over Hibernian.

Cantwell was on the scoresheet as Rangers played out a 2-2 draw with Hearts on a night when Ibrox said goodbye to five outgoing players, including club legend Allan McGregor, Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent.

But after the match Beale addressed what he felt was a narrative that is being created around Cantwell, having a veiled dig at outspoken pundit Sutton in the process, who said that referees would ‘cotton on’ to the midfielder’s behaviour.

“We all know where it’s coming from,” Beale said.

“That was a blatant foul at the weekend, two hands in chest.  

“Anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul. What’s Todd going to fall over there for? It becomes a narrative around it. 

“He’s doing really well. I think people should just enjoy him while he’s in our league. He’s been in our league a few months and shown lots of bright things.  

“Again, tonight a fantastic goal. He’s feisty, he wants to play the game with passion. He’s everything fans want. 

‘We’ve just got to be careful. We’ve been down that road before with Alfredo, haven’t we?”

Meanwhile, Beale expressed his delight at the capture of new signing Kieran Dowell from Norwich City, explaining why he has brought him to Ibrox for next season.

“I’m delighted to get Kieran and he is a boy I have known for quite a while as when I was at Liverpool he was at Everton,” he said.

“He played for England Under-21 and then got a move to Norwich and played in the Premier League. They have had changes of coaches, so he comes in and knows three or four of the dressing room. We have missed a lefty since we lost Joe Aribo. 

“He is similar to Tom Lawrence, Scott Arfield, Todd Cantwell that he can play in midfield or up a line.

“I think he will kick on here and someone who will be seen as a good signing over time and I am looking forward to working with him.”