PEDRO CAIXINHA insists he will relish this Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final, revealing he revels in preparing such derby encounters.
Rangers will take on Celtic for a place in the Scottish Cup Final on May 27,with of course the game having added significance given it is a meeting of the Old Firm.
Caixinha has plenty of experience of derby matches, and he is desperate to lead his side to victory come Sunday.
He said: “I’ve had them in Mexico, Portugal, Greece, Romania and with national teams. I like those type of matches and I like matches which are more about the strategical side of the game, and I love that.
“I think I am going to be a guy who will enjoy the game and seeing if things are going to go the way we have worked with them along the week.
“It is going to be a fantastic environment and a fantastic football match. We need to be prepared to play it and win it.”
While not having assumed control the last time the two met, Caixinha watched from the stands at Parkhead as Clint Hill grabbed a late equaliser to earn Rangers a deserved point.
That game is one Caixinha has looked at extensively, with the boss explaining: “If you analyse your opponent playing against other opponents, you may extract some important information. But when you play against that same opponent, the information is closer to the reality.
“We are playing Celtic on Sunday and then next Saturday. So for that next match, we will analyse for it and prepare for it according to the last confrontation. So it was important to analyse that last match in order to make our own conclusions and to know and to give us some orientations as to the way we need to approach the game in some specific moments.
“Sitting in the stand that day, I was watching our team and our players – I was not watching or looking for Celtic at all. When I analyse, I analyse by the moment, and if I analyse by moments, I see the opponent too by moments.
“When they are attacking, we are defending. When we are on the offensive transition they are on the defensive transition. Those sort of moments are the moments I analyse in order to see what we need to stop the opponent and what we can explore on the opponent – that is the same situation we went through.”