Everything Michael Beale told the broadcast media ahead of the Scottish Cup match with St Johnstone.

Todd Cantwell getting closer, how close?

No comment on the transfers today because we have spoken a lot in the week. As soon as anyone is signed and sealed you will be the first to know. I would say we are very close on one or two bits but I don't want to elaborate more than what I said the other day. We'll announce it when it's done.

Can I ask you about Nicolas Raskin?

No, I won't budge either. Another good player to be fair. A player I remember a lot from the time we played Standard Liege. He missed the first game against Rangers the night Kemar Roofe scored that amazing goal, but he played in the second leg and he's a player I'm aware of. Very good player that's obviously out of contract in the summer and is attracting a lot of attention. There is an interest from us but I am sure there is from a number of clubs. I like to compliment good players and he is certainly is one."

Morgan Whittaker, a bit of a stand-off on him?

Obviously, we're doing the business in private - in South Wales they've spoke out about it so we don't want to add to that. The boy has gone back there after a loan, he could be in their squad this weekend, so if he is in their squad he is their player."

Any transfer business before the weekend?

Nothing will be announced before this game. The focus is on this game.

If you get the three that you want, would that be it for this window?

Not necessarily. In the last 24 hours or so there have been inquiries for one or two of ours which will be interesting. The focus is firmly on this game. And it might be that one or two of ours either go out temporarily or permanently because they want to play. With one or two coming in you are sort of making room for what the squad will look like.

Feel the squad is getting stronger?

It is definitely getting stronger in terms of the imminent arrival if they get over the line and come in. This whole window has been fairly quiet in all the league but as we are creeping towards the end of the month more and more things are becoming available and maybe some opportunities there. It is important we recruit for the areas I think we need. If we can't get everyone this window then it will move to the summer, but I have said before, I do think we need to add players to the squad for sure."

Players that might move on have they said they want more game time?

Literally, everyone's situation is personal isn't it so I've had one or two of the younger members of the squad that maybe have opportunities. None of the senior boys. The senior boys are all really focused on the job in hand and they have been excellent so far for me.

What's the update on Kemar Roofe?

I think he will be four weeks. Kemar is not going to go down the surgical route with it. It's one that is in between giving it time or having surgery. Kemar has decided that he is feeling better but will be three or four weeks before we see him back. It will probably be the middle of February, in time for the cup final, good timing for Kemar. It was one or the other. It was depending on what the specialist said about having an operation or letting it try and heal. It depends on what grade it is, I'm not an expert in that area but that's what I've been told to regurgitate back to you guys.

Is Antonio Colak back?

Antonio is back, yeah.

Huge Rangers support for the match, how big is that away from home?

It has been big in all the away game so far. Wherever we go, we know we have got a fantastic support. It helped us massively at Dundee United, it helped us again midweek. We have had some really difficult away games recently; obviously with the weather and changes in pitches and all that. I expect all of that to be involved tomorrow in  real tough cup tie.

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Unique in Scotland to have three stands of Rangers fans?

Yeah, obviously it's nice for us because for our players we can go there and know the crowd is going to be behind us and supporting us. I think the crowd, our fans are aware it is a very, very important game and we are aware it is going to be on a tough pitch against an opponent that is going to make life difficult for us. But the most important thing tomorrow night is that Rangers are in the next round of the cup - that's our focus. I'm sure the fans who are travelling up to Perth are aware of whatever it takes we want to come away with a victory and into the next round.

Ryan Kent really good at Kilmarnock, presumably performances like that help in seeling Rangers as a place he should commit to?

Ryan has been here a long time and he has had some really big moments like the team, and like the team, he has had some moments where he has had disappointment. I think it is important that I have come back in and the most focus the last few weeks has been playing the games and getting the results. We're finding it's a bit more of a break next week and then we're back into a three-game week next week. At this moment in time, I just want Ryan to focus on football. I don't want to put him under pressure or be speaking to his representatives about contracts and finances and where his head is at and where our head is at when we are in the middle of a three-game week when we have to win every single game. So you park some things, don't you until you get a break and that's what we have done. I think that has helped Ryan focus and I think he is playing really well, I think that the front three in particular; the numbers in the last seven or eight weeks have been pleasing but also their effort. I think their effort has been top.

Are you happy with your attacking options?

Yeah I think obviously there was a big urge for Fashion Sakala and Alfredo Morelos to play when I came in because they haven’t played much in the weeks prior to me coming in or regularly so you’ve given them the opportunity and they’ve rewarded the team. I think Malik Tillman has had a big impact and Scott Arfield running out of midfield has given us another goal threat, they’ve gone and got 4 or 5 goals between them as well so I’m pleased in an attacking sense. There’s a little anxiety sometimes defending but I’ve said a few weeks ago, we’re a team who scores as many goals as we do bu sometimes you have can’t defend while your attacking. There’s a balance to be struck but we are certainly a team that wants to put people in the final third and go and score goals. 

Is there additional pressure to win both cups? 

Not really. You come in, you inherit a situation. The expectation I feel is to calm things down, recover the injuries, to make a happy camp and make the team win and build on that. There’s always some red flags in every performance but no performance in football’s perfect. We go to Rugby park the other night, we concede early and we have 72% of possession and score three goals so when people say to me afterwards, ‘what about this that went wrong?’, well what about the three goals we scored that got us the three points coming back from a goal behind? So I just need to keep working on things, making sure the group’s aware of where to tighten up but in the main I’m really happy. The expectation here at the start of the season is always huge. I’ve come in during in the middle of it and tried to maybe turn some things around if you like. We’ve got to one cup final, we won this trophy last year for the first time in 12 years so it’s important that we’re still in the hat on Saturday evening. 

You've gone behind in a lot of games?

We’re not meaning to go behind to be honest, we’re not meaning to, but you know, it’s important that we start games better. In the main we have started really well. I thought the semi final started the game really well then we conceded against the run of play. What I’ve been very impressed with is their composure. That’s something in my previous time here we had to work very hard on. We didn’t start forcing things. I’ve been very pleased with the composure and passes we’re making and the variety of goals we’re scoring. Really pleased with that, so if we can just tighten up on that area then that should lead to me having a few more calmer afternoons and evenings. 

Is everyone okay after the other night? 

Everyone’s fine, we’ve managed the group quite well this week. We took Ryan Jack out of the astroturf just to protect the situation he’s got. Glen played but came off at the end. He was a bit sore with the ankle but he’s recovered fine. Antonio trained today. He’s not fully fit but he’s there. So there’s nothing else to report. 

6 set-piece goals have been conceded this season. How can you fix this? 

Well we spend a bit of time discussing it. You’re right, it’s an area that we used to be excellent in. We’ve 3 clean sheets in the past 5 games. I’d rather focus on that than the doom and gloom you’re bringing to my front door. We face a lot of set plays. So in a game like Kilmarnock we’re facing a lot of set plays, throw-ins. Every time there’s a free kick 15 yards inside their own half it’s going in the box so the percentage we’re defending is very high. So we need to stop giving them away. At Dundee United we were excellent against an opponent who was looking for them so in the majority of the games when you’re having the amount of possession we’re having, you’re looking at defending counter attacks and set plays. That’s a constant that we have to talk about. It’s an area we want to improve. We should have scored off a couple of set plays the other night. Connor Goldson has a chance in the first half and we have one the second half where I think we should be scoring as well. It’s ongoing, that work. 

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Is there any update on Ryan Jack in terms of his contract and how pleased have you been with his form?

No update in his contract situation. He knows what I feel about him, that’s very clear. He’s one of the leaders in the team along with John Lundstram, Tavernier and Goldson, Allan McGregor and Scotty Arfield as part of our leadership group. I’m delighted with him to be honest. I’ve tried to manage him quite cleverly in the games since I came back in along with John and Glen because they’re really important for us. When I came in there was different issues with everybody but Jacko looks in a fantastic place and he’s not only breaking the game up and getting us control he’s actually had a couple of goals in the last few games which has been pleasing. At this moment in time we haven’t sat, me and Ryan and had a big discussion. We had a discussion maybe three weeks ago before the Ross County game and we’re on the same page.

Are the players heading in the right direction for you?

I think so. There’s another game tomorrow because I’m aware we’re a big club and there’s always a disaster waiting around the corner. We can’t come off of it and we’re still trying to push consistency in the way that we play. Consistency in team selection because I think then the relationships on the pitch are stronger. I don’t think it’s that complex. I think if players play together a lot their understanding of each other is good. If they like the way the team’s playing, if you collaborate with them and get their opinion on the way the team’s playing and then you go out and train it, you drive the standards. I think, generally, I start from a position of strength. It’s a fantastic football club and it’s got strong players in the country that we play in. My job is to try and get some harmony and cohesion. We’ve managed to do that the last few weeks but we’re far from where I want us to be if I’m honest. We’ve still got quite a long way to go. Having said that, we’re dominating possession and scoring goals which is a good sign so if we can tighten up on some moments where a bit anxious then we’ll be alright. I prefer the team to bold in those moments and not on the back foot, just stay on the front foot.

How important is it you sign someone with the mentality to play for Rangers?

If you looked at someone like Malik Tillman who’s come through at Bayern Munich, I’m not sure anything Bayern Munich can do in their academy would’ve equipped him for Rugby Park on a midweek on an artificial pitch which is freezing as every minute goes through. I think that’s quite unique circumstances. Sometimes you’ve got to learn on the job. We can equip people before so it might be the reason I felt it wasn’t a perfect game for Malik to start because I felt that the midfield that we played there the other night are used to playing there. They’re little things that you think about. With players coming in, my biggest concern is will they fit our dressing room? Will they fit our style? And are they going to be a good player for Rangers for the next two or three years? I’m looking for hungry players. When I sit and discuss with them about their future, do I believe in the journey they’re on and do I think they can help us? The more better players I can get in the building with that hunger and drive, that’s the important thing. Coming back into the club, it was very interesting to speak to the same players that I was part of that journey with three or four years ago, where are they now because they’ve been here three or four years and they’ve won a league and played in a European final, they’ve won the Scottish Cup and they’ve had some disappointments. Where are they now? Do I still feel that flame’s really burning? That’s different for each individual. People move their minds and move their motivation and other people retain it. It’s important I bring people in that can drive this club forward over the next couple of years. It’s not just me, I want to feel that I’ve got players in the squad that I’m going on a journey with.