Michael Beale has weathered another storm. On a night where the wind swirled and the drizzle turned to a deluge at Ibrox, a routine win over Livingston cleared some of the clouds from above Beale’s head.

In some regards, the sense that it never rains but it pours for Beale still holds. The loss of Kemar Roofe to a groin issue ensured that this was not a completely satisfactory occasion. In truth, Rangers have not had one of them at any stage this season.

Defeat to David Martindale’s side was unthinkable for Rangers and for Beale. It would have ended their aspirations of lifting the Viaplay Cup for the first time since 2011 and it would have brought the curtain down on Beale’s tenure as manager. Both of those scenarios were avoided.

Even after a fourth successive win and a fourth successive clean sheet, Beale still finds himself on the precipice. This will not have won over any of those who have already made their mind up about him but the best that he can do at present is to keep his supporters on side and give the floating voters reasons to edge towards his camp.

Those that ventured out into Storm Agnes – more than 35,000 of them in fact – would have done so demanding a win but in hope rather than expectation when it came to the performance. Few would have been blown away by what they witnessed but, unlike in the aftermath of the victory at home to Motherwell, Beale was able to put forward positives after two goals from Abdallah Sima and one each for Ridvan Yilmaz and Ryan Jack secured progression to the semi-finals. A meeting with Hearts now awaits at Hampden in November.

"When you ask teams to play three games in seven days, then four in ten, the entertainment and energy levels are going to go down," Beale said in his post-match press conference. "I think for us it’s to just keep winning."

The reaction in the stands on Sunday afternoon told its own story. It was visceral, it was emotional, as a scunnered support showed their frustration even in victory.

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To be fair to Beale, he did likewise in the media room less than an hour later. The Englishman has never been short of words in front of the cameras but there have been a few occasions where he has looked as deflated with a performance and there was no attempt to add a shine that just wasn’t merited.

He had reason to be more positive on this occasion. Before he did so, Martindale perhaps summed up the match with a light-heartened moment as he took his seat and asked which members of the assembled media had been present for the previous meeting at Ibrox earlier in the season.

“Just use that,” was the quip that followed from Martindale. “It was the same, wasn’t it? Use the same content and go home. You don’t even need to write it up, copy and paste.”

Martindale did have a point. On both occasions, Livingston conceded once in the opening stages and then saw Rangers put the cherry on top late on and the 4-0 wins over the Lions represent their most commanding victories in a season where even three points have not been enough.

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Ibrox was largely subdued if seemingly content for most of the evening but the four goals were greeted warmly and appreciatively, as were the players as they made their way round the pitch at the final whistle. There was no chorus of boos or heckles on this occasion as Livingston failed to register a shot on target.

“I just think we have to win football games,” Beale said when asked about the reaction from the supporters. “It’s four games now, it’s another clean sheet. I don’t know where the rubbish came from at the weekend that Motherwell were the better team at the weekend. Look at the stats. But I was right to say we were poor in possession. Tonight we were better and we deserved to win the game.”

Those that merited individual acclaim were picked out by Beale. Sima was the first to be praised for his running with the ball, while the scorer of the crucial second goal certainly deserved a mention of his own before fears over another injury absence were allayed with the confirmation that he was substituted due to cramp.

“I was delighted for Ridvan,” Beale said after the left-back produced a surging burst and toe-poked finish to put the game well beyond Livingston just after the hour mark. “He’s had a rough year and a bit to his Rangers career.

“He’s shown in flashes why the club invested in him and why he was such a big talent in Turkey and their national team. Obviously, injuries have held him back. Hopefully, that’s the start of him showing what we can do more regularly.”

That last point relates to Sima as well. If the third goal – which took a huge deflection off Luiyi de Lucas – is credited to the forward, he now has five in 12 for Rangers. On the stroke of full-time, Jack provided a clinical finishing touch to a neat move involving Dujon Sterling and James Tavernier on the right before a dummy from Scott Wright created the chance that was converted from inside the area.

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There will be debate over the build-up to the first of the evening after a push sent Jamie Brandon tumbling but that could take nothing away from the strike as Sima found the far corner of the net. It was a moment that perhaps encapsulated his Rangers career to date. There was purpose to his running and quality in a finish that was similar to his effort against PSV Eindhoven.

It was enough to suggest that there is something there in Sima, but the concerns remain over how often those attributes can come to the fore. In many ways, that sums up this side but Beale was optimistic with what he saw as he credited the left-side partnership of Ridvan and Sima as integral to the win but expressed his pleasure with other aspects of an attacking performance that was more fluent in stages.

“I was pleased enough, the triangles on either side worked well,” Beale said. “I thought Cifu went high and let Sam [Lammers] stay wider, other times James [Tavernier] came inside. You saw when Dujon came on we're looking at James going up a line and he gets a good assist for Ryan [Jack]. It's just at this moment in time with the games coming there's not much in between we can work on. Every time we play at the minute it's just making sure everyone is fit and healthy for the next one.”

The introduction of Cyriel Dessers at the break changed the dynamic of the Rangers attack. And not in a good way. There is arguably not a player in the squad that frustrates supporters more right now but Beale could well have to rely on him even more after Roofe was forced off.

A moment just minutes before the second goal was typical of Dessers this term. Calls from the stands for him to get his shot away steadily grew in volume but the Nigerian – either short of confidence or quality, or both – procrastinated that long that the time and space were eventually gone, as was the chance. 

Right now, that is almost as much as Beale can wish for as he navigates these choppy waters. The sanctuary of the international break is now just three matches – at home to Aberdeen and away to Aris Limassol and St Mirren – on the horizon for a side and squad that need the chance to regroup and recover. But with that said, the signs last night were more positive than they have been domestically in a while.

Rangers were not blown off course at Ibrox. The next hat-trick of fixtures will determine in which direction Beale is heading as manager.