WHATEVER phrase the supporters use - whether it be taking their eye off the ball, resting on their laurels or falling asleep at the wheel - the accusation is just as serious and as damning towards the Rangers board.

The charges will be rejected and a case for the defence will be lodged by those in positions of power at Ibrox. In the view of many members of the court of public opinion, they are already guilty and condemned.

Title number 55 was the end of 'The Journey' and a moment that should have been the beginning of a new drive for success for Rangers. The Old Firm balance had been emphatically tipped in their favour and the challenge was to go again, to go bigger and be better on and off the park.

An accomplished defence of their crown seemed inevitable. So did cup glories, those achievements that had been so hard to attain, as Rangers looked onwards and upwards after the most difficult decade that anyone associated with the club had lived through.

The rest, of course, is history. Giovanni van Bronckhorst delivered the Scottish Cup and Seville but the Premiership trophy returned to Parkhead with green and white ribbons attached to sit alongside the League Cup.

Both of those awards are still there. The Premiership will reside in the East End for another season and Ange Postecoglou has his sights set on a clean sweep of the silverware as Rangers find themselves chasing and rebuilding one again under the guidance of Michael Beale.

The banners that were unfurled during the matches with Livingston and Kilmarnock - the first reading ‘Two trophies in 11 years - uphold the standards that matter’ and the second proclaiming ‘After 55 titles you took your eye off the ball. Time for change’ - are the public signs of a discontent that has been brewing for some time.

The feeling and the allegation is that the Ibrox hierarchy blundered badly in the aftermath of their crowning moment. Whatever the truth in a situation of many grey areas, all that matters is that there haven't been enough silver linings for supporters.

“I don’t think so," Beale said when asked if Rangers took their eye off the ball after 55. "There was a change of manager, another manager came in, he won the Scottish Cup and got to a European final but fell away a little bit in the league.

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"Celtic’s form has been very good. In most other years the points tally Rangers got might have won the league anyway.

"I wasn’t here in that period but we were very dominant in the last 18 months before I left. Some things haven’t worked out but at the same time Celtic have gone on a really good run. And that’s it.

"When it's a two-team battle like it has been for the last few years then you only have to slip a little bit and that can be really important.

“Where do I feel we’re at right now? We’re moving in a good way. And ultimately that’s my job to move us in a good way and keep doing that. I’m 16 games in, it’s a small sample.”

The messages displayed in the stands have told their own story. On Saturday, the round of applause from the home crowd was indicative of the mood in the camp.

Banners bearing the faces of Stewart Robertson and Ross Wilson were also flown during the win over Kilmarnock and many fans have made up their minds about who is to blame for the situation that Rangers find themselves in.

“Yeah, because we didn’t win," Beale said when asked if he understood the perception from supporters. "And if you do win then everything is different, isn’t it? But we didn’t win and that’s the facts.

"We have to own that. We are the people in the privileged position of making those decisions. I wasn’t then but I am now. So you are going to be judged on it.

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"If you take the job then part of it is you’re going to be judged on a lot of things, constantly, 360, by the people who don’t follow your club and certainly by the people who follow it. That’s part of it.

“The fans have had a heavy season it’s fair to say. And they’re showing signs of that. But that’s fine.

"I know when I’ve got their backing and they’re happy with the team they are ferocious in their support. The fans are the ones who pay their money and fill Ibrox every week. They fill every away stadium and all the European ones too so they’re entitled to voice their opinion.”

Beale described his relationship with Wilson as 'really good' as he spoke ahead of the fixture with Hibernian on Wednesday evening and he insisted that he is on 'the same page' as the sporting director as he seeks to write a new chapter at Ibrox.

The Viaplay Cup final defeat to Celtic has been the catalyst for the increase in noise levels around Rangers but many of the questions and criticisms are long-standing. Once again, established executive figures and chairman Douglas Park find themselves under the spotlight.

"Listen, we have got to do our work behind the scenes and no one tries to make any decisions that harm the football club," Beale said. "Everybody is all in. Sometimes there is a frustration there when we don’t get the results immediately, certainly in this city. We get it, we understand it.

"As I say, as long as it is done in the right manner then people are going to give their opinions whether we want it or not. Our own fans, fans of other clubs, people in the media, it is part of the industry that we are in. As long as it is done respectively and it is not personal I think it is OK.

"When it is done the other way, I am not sure what we are getting out of that. I would rather not elaborate on it other than the fans are allowed to have their own opinion. I would ask everyone to make sure it is in the right way."

The trip to Easter Road tomorrow night will coincide with Beale's 100th day in charge after being appointed as Van Bronckhorst's successor. In any other league, at most other clubs, his record would see him widely hailed and heralded.

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His one defeat came in the game he couldn't afford to lose. He is comfortable in his job, though, and there has been nothing to catch him unawares as he returned to Ibrox with his eyes wide open and focused on the future.

"I think any manager in any job will have moments when people are doubting the direction or doubting where they are going and then are moments after that when things go well and people see the process," Beale said.

"I think I am the only one in terms of the players who see them every day, I know who is 100 per cent fit, I know who isn’t, I know where they are at mentally. I also watch them train together and I have to go off of that when I am picking. I am really, really optimistic.

"I think one or two of the changes might surprise one or two people as well. I am brave enough and confident in the decisions that we are going to make that they are the right thing for the club."