MARTYN WAGHORN was delighted that Rangers turned on the style for Pedro Caixinha’s first game in charge of the club against Hamilton Academical on Saturday.
The Light Blues were hungry and determined from the first whistle as they romped to a convincing 4-0 victory over Martin Canning’s men who struggled to contain the home side as they pressed high up the pitch and closed the visitors down with real urgency when they had possession.
While it was a tough 90 minutes for Accies it was also a dream start for Caixinha and striker Waghorn, who confidently scored the third goal from the penalty spot on what was his seventh start on the bounce.
The in-form South Shields forward, speaking exclusively to RangersTV, said: “It was important that we got off to a good start with the new boss.
“We worked hard all week implementing new drills, new tactics and stuff, and it was a real chance to go out there and stamp our new style and new game plan and where we are going to go this season.”
On that new style of play, Waggy explained: “It’s part of what the manager wants to do, he wants us to win it back quickly and as high up as you can.
“That transition between attacking and defending, it’s important you are all on the same page.
I think that we really showed at the weekend how we worked together as a team and we didn’t really let Hamilton have too much time on the ball to pass it around.
“So it was a good start and we’ve got a good couple of weeks to work hard on it again.”
With Lee Wallace and James Tavernier pushing up the park from their left and right-back berths and Jon Toral returning to the side in the centre of midfield, Rangers played with attacking flair against Accies while staying rock solid at the back.
Martyn continued: “Yeah, it was really good. He (Pedro Caixinha) tweaked the little position from the Celtic game with Emo going a bit wider and Jon coming back in.
“Attacking wise it was more of a 4-2-3-1 but defensively it was 4-4-1-1 and I think we just looked a bit more solid, a bit more balanced and we kind of kept the same approach to what Murts done for the Old Firm.
“We looked comfortable in that game defensively so it was just nice that we have got a settled team and structure and winning games which is always nice as well.”
While Jason Holt was named Man of the Match following his impressive energetic display against Accies, Toral shrugged off an injury to return to the starting eleven.
Waghorn said: “Holty, he’s always busy around the pitch and I think him and Jon were terrific in the middle of the park.
“They kept the ball nicely and did what the manager asked of them. They got in and around them, didn’t let them get their heads up and pick passes.
“But there were a lot of candidates. I thought Tav played well, Kenny, skip, the two centre halves didn’t really have much to do.
I think it was just one of those performances where you could literally have picked any of the boys, so it’s pleasing that everyone really contributed to the game.”
It was Toral’s perfect delivery from a free-kick which led to Clint Hill firing in Rangers’ second goal from close range.
And on the Spaniard’s overall contribution, Waggy added: “He was brilliant, he just brings a little bit of calmness and he never looks like he is in a rush or a panic.
“That’s just his nature and the way he is in and around the place and the way he trains. But he’s got undoubted quality, his left foot is brilliant at times and he picks a pass.
“His delivery for Clint’s goal was brilliant and I think that balance between getting his foot stuck in and when you need to have a bit of calmness on the ball, he brings that as well. So he was terrific as well.”