Micah Richards believes Michael Beale got too caught up in battles with Chris Sutton and he reckons that had a part to play in his sacking from Rangers.

The Englishman was relieved of his Ibrox duties on Sunday after a string of poor results domestically and in Europe.

Beale was sacked on Sunday after 307 days in the post with Rangers seven points adrift of Celtic in the Premiership following their third league defeat of the season against Aberdeen 24 hours earlier.

Richards expected the former QPR man to be a hit in Glasgow and he admits it is a shock that things never worked out.

Speaking on the Rest is Football podcast, he said: "It's a strange one for me. Michael Beale was talked about as a great coach and when he was at QPR, was he staying or was he going. He was at Aston Villa with Steven Gerrard and I just thought with the way his teams played on the front foot and the way he spoke in interviews, I thought he'd go up there and have a real good success. He got in a few squibbles with Chris Sutton... he got drawn into that when he perhaps should have just focused on the football side of it.

"He put more pressure on himself and every time he was in the press conference, they were picking out little words and the pressure is getting to him and all that sort of thing. He picked the wrong battles and should have concentrated on how his side wanted to play. In the end they just weren't good but I was surprised because I thought he'd do a real good job."

Alan Shearer also appeared on the podcast and added: "You know that there are two clubs who have to fight for the title up there. They are seven points behind and already lost three games and that is not acceptable up in Scotland with Celtic or Rangers. It didn't come as a huge surprise to me."