MICHAEL BEALE needs to have one eye on the dressing room and the other on the treatment room. Only then can he venture into the boardroom.

The Rangers boss is dealing with two very different squads right now and that predicament makes it almost impossible to properly plan for the short-term as he aims to deliver gradual change and sustained success at Ibrox.

The group that Beale works with on a daily basis is short on numbers and quality and a full and proper assessment of the squad may not be able to be completed until February. That is, of course, after the transfer window has come and gone and it leaves Rangers caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of their recruitment strategy.

The team as it stands requires improvement but the wider issue is about the value for money the Ibrox investors are seeing right now. Funds have been spent but form and fitness mean there is little return at present and that simply must change when the cheques are signed on Beale's say so.

Questions remain over just how good many of these players are and can be. Ross Wilson, the sporting director, defended himself and his record at the Annual General Meeting earlier this month but his answers did not appear to win over the doubters within the support.

It is something of a cliche to state that returning players can be like new signings but Beale was entitled to make that point in recent days. Until the majority are available, the judgements on the team, and perhaps Beale as a boss, are somewhat skewed by the circumstances.

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Players have already been identified for the summer window and talk of 'one or two' from Beale didn't suggest there would be widespread changes over the next month or so. Given the considerable wage bill Rangers are carrying and their position in the title race, January just doesn't seem to be the prime time for wheeling and dealing.

It is safe to say there is a lot riding on those that will return to the fold in the coming weeks. If there is not a marked improvement once the ranks have been bolstered, the spotlight will shine even brighter on the signings and those that sanctioned them.

Beale is right to say that his selection issues cannot be used as an excuse for whatever problems Rangers encounter. Even with a crock list that is around double digits, Rangers should still have more than enough quality within their ranks to win week after week in the Premiership.

Beale defined it has having to 'bite down on the gumshield and go' ahead of the trip to Ross County on Friday night as he spoke about having a duty of care to those who were playing through the pain barrier out of a sense of professionalism and of duty.

James Tavernier recently admitted he had been doing just that during the first half of the campaign as he expressed his desire to put a knee injury to one side even though it was clearly impacting on his performances. The news came as no surprise to a support who had suspected for some time that something was amiss with the captain.

Tavernier made the decision to travel to Pittodrie himself last Tuesday to avoid passing on a viral infection that had laid him low in the build-up and Beale later revealed that John Lundstram took an injection to make the bench and that Alfredo Morelos is carrying a long-standing issue. So is Glen Kamara, with Beale stating that the midfielder should really have had an operation by now.

Those updates from Beale came before Allan McGregor succumbed to a sickness bug and perhaps opened the eyes of supporters to the situation at Ibrox. Beale is now the one that has to plot a route through it but the problems have been prevalent throughout the term as player after player was consigned to the sidelines.

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The tone was set in pre-season and the trip to Portugal. It was during his first interview of the campaign that Giovanni Van Bronckhorst revealed that Ianis Hagi wouldn't return until the New Year and the snowball effect quickly gathered pace as an injury crisis gripped Rangers.

John Souttar followed just weeks into his Ibrox career as he joined Filip Helander on the sidelines and the defensive options were reduced straightaway. Soon, Rangers were in the midst of a situation that would undermine their season and ultimately play a part in Van Bronckhorst losing his job.

The loss of Tom Lawrence in late August was a major blow and the ongoing issues with Kemar Roofe left Rangers short of firepower. At the other end of the park, the sight of Connor Goldson hobbling off against Liverpool was a sorry one and his absence was compounded as Ben Davies struggled to find form and fitness.

When Ridvan Yilmaz went down holding his hamstring during the win over Aberdeen - ironically with Beale watching on from the stands - it was a moment that summed up the season for Rangers. It was bad, but it got worse.

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Steven Davis will cruelly and sadly miss the rest of the season after Rangers confirmed a serious knee injury and Antonio Colak will not return until the visit of Motherwell this week after a thigh complaint. That is when Borna Barisic will also pull on his boots again after Croatia's run to third spot at the World Cup came at an inopportune moment for Rangers.

It has been one of those seasons in many ways. At times it has felt like if Rangers didn't have bad luck then they would have no luck at all.

It has been a mitigation rather than an excuse. Once the treatment room clears, there will be no hiding place for those in the dressing room as jerseys are fought for and futures are decided.

The focus will then be on the boardroom. The timing of the Beale rebuild will be intriguing but the scope will be more telling for those on and off the park.