WHILE delighted with many aspects of his debut win over Hamilton Accies 10 days ago, Pedro Caixinha has identified a number of areas he wants his side to improve on against Motherwell this Saturday.
The Ibrox gaffer has enjoyed an extended training period with the vast bulk of his side as a result of the international break, and that spell has seen him work hard to get his ideas across to his new squad.
He admits however it has been difficult to get every single one of his ideas across, and therefore he has identified a number of key aspects he wants his side to take into the game with the Steelmen.
Speaking exclusively to RangersTV.tv this afternoon, Caixinha explained: “It is important to establish the priorities. When you establish them though, we cannot establish everything that my philosophy is going to demand from the team in terms of their performance.
“So, we need to establish some points which are the basis – for example from the Hamilton game, in our opinion we were very good when we had the ball, trying to attack the opponent’s goal etc, and when we didn’t have the ball we tried to attack the ball – that’s the basis we want to build the team around.
“So, this needs to be the basis for the Motherwell game, but with some upgrades regarding to more principles in these two moments, and some more upgrades with regards to other areas of our game.
“We have also been working on our set pieces, and we see Scottish football has many different types of set pieces from the opponents we are facing – both attacking and defending – so we are trying to be focused on that.
“Also, analysing the opponents is part of our job, but mainly preparing our team with regards to our behaviours.”
The international break came at a great time for Caixinha and his staff as they attempt to drive Rangers on to a strong end to the season. He revealed the time spent on the training field with his new charges was massively beneficial, although the period did have one drawback with captain Lee Wallace picking up a minor knock while away with Scotland.
“It is important to have time, to have patience and to know how to assess the right points for the players in order to start making key priorities for the players,” Caixinha continued.
“That is what we have been working on. We only had two players away on international duty – Lee [Wallace] came back with a small injury from the Scottish national team, and Lee Hodson went with Northern Ireland but didn’t play and came straight back in and did the first session with us this week.
“It was very good as it gave us more time to work with the players, and also, we had a game at the end of last week in order for us to know all of the players, to give minutes to all the players and to finish a full week of training under our methods.
“It was really, really good. The players are doing fantastically well and already, we have been preparing the game since Monday as we all think of the games in the same way, and that is to win, and I want the players to realise that and put in their minds that we are not going to win a game on the Saturday, the Sunday or the Wednesday, but we have to start working at the start of the week with that mentality.”
While, of course, much of his focus has been on Rangers recently, Caixinha took time out at the weekend to catch up with both Portugal’s game with Hungary and Scotland’s match with Slovenia.
He was massively impressed with the Portuguese’ 3-0 win, and also expressed hope that Scotland will be boosted by their victory and will make it to Russia for the World Cup next summer.
He added: “It was a fantastic performance from the Portuguese national team with Ronaldo scoring twice and Valente da Silva, a young player from Oporto, also scoring. He is doing very well and they have a very good coordination between them which is good for Portugal.
“I believe for sure Portugal will be at the World Cup, and before that, we have the Confederations Cup in June, and I hope we do well there too.
“With regards to Scotland, it’s since 1998 that Scotland have been missing from this big tournament and I think it is time that Scotland qualified again. These three points were like gold for them, and with 12 points still to fight for, I really hope they can do it and are in the same group as Portugal if they make it!”