PEDRO CAIXINHA was delighted to see Portuguese star Bruno Alves hit the ground running with a rock-solid display in Saturday’s friendly match against Marseille.
The 35-year-old centre half was given 57 minutes against the Ligue 1 side before he was substituted, but in that time he was able to impress his manager and every fan within Ibrox Stadium with an assured defensive performance.
It is early days but already Alves looks at home in the blue of Rangers and Caixinha knows his first signing for the club will be a very important figure in his new-look squad in 2017/18.
Speaking exclusive to RangersTV this morning, he said: “Bruno is just with us for one week, he arrived one week from today.
“He’s being a quiet boy, just observing and just getting to know everything around him, but he’s that type of leader that doesn’t need to express too much.
Just his presence makes all the guys understand what is going on. In just a small conversation, a one v one situation, everybody understands.
“So that’s the type of leadership Bruno has, more by his presence, and you ask me if I want more from him, I want a little bit more communication and also coaching from the back because he is seeing all the game.
“I really want Bruno to represent me on the pitch, definitely. That’s one situation that I’ve been talking with him about and he’s going to do it very easily.
“Bruno, when he just touched the first ball against Marseille, everybody was happy with him, everybody was happy with his leadership.
“He’s a great boy, a great man that this club needs, especially having at the back that sort of leadership and experience and understanding of the game.
“Dorrans in the middle of the park did great. Both of them are not of course at the best fitness level, we need to put them up to that in the next two weeks.
“But only by understanding the game and understanding what it really means to play for this great club they can make the difference.
“Ryan Jack is another one that is getting used to it and adapting, and he is also helping us a lot to keep the balance of the team.
“It doesn’t matter which way the team is playing he is always down there to give us the balance and I think the other one that has also conquered a little bit our fans in Ibrox was Candeias.
“He also understands the way he needs to perform. He can do even better and give us a fantastic relationship on the right along with James. I’m very glad that things are going in that direction.
“Pena, it was his first time, his first minutes in a game like this, Morelos as well, so I believe that everybody is getting along together with the guys who continue from last season.
I do believe that we are building a good team, a strong team, a competitive team and one that needs to be like all the great teams in the history of this great club.”
The link-up play between James Tavernier and Daniel Candeias on the right flank was very promising on Saturday, and Caixinha liked what he saw on that side of the pitch.
He added: “I think they are two players who have more or less the same characteristics and they have that sort of interaction because they understand each other.
“It’s always good for you to have an offensive full-back and an offensive winger on the same side and when it comes to defending both of them are also involved.”
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