No respite for Rangers stars as Pedro Caixinha lays down the law

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha (SNS Group)
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha (SNS Group)

THERE will be no slacking at Rangers under Pedro Caixinha.

The players have been used to getting a few days off during the international break, but that policy has come to a shuddering halt.

Instead, the Ibrox men will have a full week’s work under the new Portuguese coach and end it by playing a behind-closed-doors game at Ibrox.

Caixinha said last night: “I work to a pattern. They will have a day off on Sunday and then come back on Monday to train.

“From there, we go until Saturday, when we finish here playing with our squad combined with Under-20 players. We want to finish the week with a match situation.

“They will have one day free again and then we will start preparing for the next match.

“I do believe that players need to have this biological pattern.

“I will be delighted to give them days off when needed and when the schedule allows it.”

Caixinha was delighted to start his Ibrox career with a 4-0 win over Hamilton and was clearly impressed by the rapturous welcome he got from the crowd.

He went on: “The reception was fantastic. This is our home but we want this to be more than our home.

“We want to play all the time with an extra player, if possible 50,000 extra players.

“And that will make us more pacy, tackle better in order to win more second balls, to be fitter and look for more goals.

“So I don’t believe it just needs to be our home, or our stadium – it needs to be our fortress.”

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha steps onto the park before the match (SNS Group)
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha steps onto the park before the match (SNS Group)

The new man believes he saw some of the flow he is looking for from his charges.

He said: “We still have a lot of work in front of us, but I’m happy with what we did today on the pitch.

“I believe you saw more switch of play, more wide combinations and arrivals, more about regaining possession and looking for the space, then attacking that space. And you also saw a team who, when they didn’t have the ball, weren’t happy and tried to press to regain it, leading the opponent to committing some mistakes.

“So the majority of the points I saw were good.”

A successful start for the man Rangers hope will be their “Special One” from Portugal.

A big smile came over his face when asked if he really is a close friend of Manchester United boss, Jose Mourhino.

“Now he’s Judas – he’s not Mourinho!,” he said, referring to his fellow countryman’s return to Chelsea last week.

“He is a very nice guy. The last time I saw him was in Lisbon at a post-graduation event.

“He invited me to be part of the professors.

“He is a fantastic guy, who is always available to talk to you.

“He will always discuss things about football. He is friendly – not as he seems.

“Jose inspired all of the coaches from my generation.

“We all talked about Mourinho. Look at the Monaco coach. He’s around my age, a little bit younger, and he’s doing fantastic.

“It was like Mourinho went into a room said: ‘Let’s open his window’ and when he opened the window, we all jumped through it.

“He is unique, of course, but we share the same philosophy about how to prepare.”

Caixinha, like Mourinho, didn’t have a playing career to speak of.

He said: “We have many coaches who come from the academic side – like Carvahal at Sheffield Wednesday and Rui Vitoria at Benfica.

“Maybe Scottish football needs its own Mourinho. Let’s hope Ian Cathro can be the guy. I think it would be good for Scottish football.”