PEDRO CAIXINHA has called on his players to replicate the passion from the Ibrox stands in their performance when they take on Celtic on Saturday.

It’s the second meeting of the sides in a week, with Brendan Rodgers’ side winning 2-0 in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

Caixinha was disappointed with the performance in that match from the Gers, but ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash, the Portuguese delivered a rallying call.

Speaking at today’s press conference, he said: “First of all, we expect to play in a sold-out Ibrox Stadium that all the time delivers passion to us – we just need to give the same back, simple as that.

“We analysed the game, and we know what we need to do. We know what we didn’t do, so we need to put commitment and passion on the pitch.

“In this club, we respect all the clubs, but the winning mentality is always present with us.

“It is normal after a defeat that I need one day to recharge my batteries, but after that, I am standing again to face whatever I need to face with a smile on my face.

“We have had a setback, we now have another match and we need to prove ourselves to put passion on the pitch in order to be real players and a manager that is defending the cause of this club.”

Caixinha was also quizzed today about his pre-season plans, with the first Europa League qualifier potentially taking place on June 29.

On that, he said:“It is unofficial at the moment, but we know it and the players know it. It is not me who set up and organised the plan – it is the first competition and the date of that which is June 29.

“It is totally important the squad have the right amount of time to prepare in order to be ready in that first match.

“It’s what we have and it’s what we need to organise.”

Both Myles Beerman and David Bates are in contention to be involved once again this Saturday having made their derby debuts at Hampden on Sunday.

And Caixinha was full of praise for their performances and contributions so far.

He continued: “Myles is doing a fantastic job and so is David. We have confidence in all our players and if they don’t have that confidence, we will be glad to give them even more confidence.

“That is the way we work with our players – we believe in our players.”

The manager was also asked if there was belief in his squad that Rangers could defeat Celtic this weekend despite not beating them so far in the campaign.

On that, he said: “If there is not, I would not be here facing you. If I don’t believe I can do these things I am not going to show up. I just resign and go home.”

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