PEDRO CAIXINHA has been sacked as Rangers manager after seven months in charge. Here, Press Association Sport examines where it all went wrong for the Portuguese.
Caixinha was given some leeway after finishing nine points adrift of runners-up Aberdeen last season two months after taking charge, but much more was expected of him after an expensive summer overhaul.
Directors found funds to back their manager in the transfer market and will now be counting the cost following an early Europa League exit and a Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Motherwell. Caixinha focused on players he knew. Eduardo Herrera, Carlos Pena and Dalcio have failed to impress; the jury is out on Fabio Cardoso while Bruno Alves showed a rash streak against Motherwell.
Daniel Candeias has been better but the biggest success, Alfredo Morelos, came in on the recommendation of coach Jonatan Johansson. Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans were obvious buys but the former has been sent off three times and the pair have arguably been badly utilised in the same area of midfield.
Caixinha was not given enough slack for his English skills at times but his understanding of the language was good and he could make his point heard, especially when he was angry.
But his tactical analysis meandered at times in public and it was difficult to imagine players always getting a clear idea of what was expected.
He was also prone to erratic outbursts – most recently slating his players for “embarrassing” the club 24 hours after accepting responsibility for the Betfred Cup semi-final loss.
Caixinha was given the blueprint for combating Celtic when he watched Graeme Murty guide Rangers to a draw at Parkhead 24 hours after being appointed.
But he changed Kenny Miller from a central to a wide position for the next derby at Hampden and Rangers got nowhere near their rivals, while the vulnerable James Tavernier returned to right-back from midfield and conceded a penalty in a 2-0 defeat.
Celtic ran round the sides of his midfield diamond in a 5-1 win at Ibrox six days later. This season Pena was given the task of marking Scott Brown in a complete mismatch as Celtic won 2-0 in Govan.
Caixinha exhibited a major failure in relations by ostracising Barrie McKay and Michael O’Halloran and latterly exiling Kenny Miller from his first-team squad.
Others were also made to train with the youth team in a bid to speed their departure in the summer but Miller’s treatment especially showed Caixinha was not afraid to cut his nose off to spite his face.
The 37-year-old striker was a major miss as Rangers toiled in the last two games of Caixinha’s reign and his absence was never explained. Days after the former Scotland international was filmed chatting amiably to chairman Dave King and managing director Stewart Robertson at Hampden, Caixinha reportedly told Miller and his skipper, Lee Wallace, to stay away from Ibrox for Wednesday’s game against Kilmarnock along with other injured first-team players.