PEDRO CAIXINHA reckons Rangers should have scored more goals against Progrès Niederkorn – and will now head to Luxembourg with only victory on their minds.
Kenny Miller’s stroke before half-time gave the Light Blues a lead to take to the away leg on Tuesday in front of a sold-out Ibrox Stadium tonight.
Caixinha was mightily impressed with the support his players received, and he was also more pleased with his side’s showing in the first half than the second half.
Speaking to RangersTV.tv, the boss explained: “It was a great atmosphere. I think that the connection between the players, between the stands, and between the whole stadium was great.
“I think the team in the first half produced great football, great moments of football, but we just missed a little bit on the last third. We could have scored and should have scored a little bit more goals.
“In the second half the team’s rhythm fell a little bit. We tried to make one change that, along the game was not the best one. We tried to, with Niko and Kenny, call more responsibility and have more of the ball in between lines in order for [Ryan] Jack to stay to alone in front of the centre-halves.
“That was not so good, so we could not have the ball down there and we allowed the opponent to have some transitions. So we needed to balance again, calling Jordan Rossiter on the pitch. We reversed the triangle in the middle again. Instead of one-two, we changed to playing two-one again so the team have more ball, more balance, but we could not arrive with the quality and the aggression we want and the presence as well that we want and we will keep working to have that in the last third.
“I think the team had more than enough to maybe to score more goals. We know that we are winning one-nil, this is just the half time, nothing is done, and we need to go to Luxembourg next Tuesday with the will and the desire on our mind that we need to do everything and win the game. That is all that matters.
“It’s not a question of the away goal or a draw or whatever, the mentality is about win the game, it’s the only point that matters to us.”
Caixinha was pleased with some aspects of his side’s play this evening, but again reiterated the need to work on their play in the final third.
He continued: “I think that the general idea about the way that we want to play the game, it’s presence on the team, it’s presence on all players at the same time.
“As I told you we know that this is the reality we are facing, this is the reality we prepared the team on, and in the three preparations matches we faced the same difficulties.
“So we need to keep giving new tools to the players that have the conditions to face the game and face the opponent’s block in order to see and take the best decisions to explore these spaces and let the ball arrive on the players that can be more creative in those zones and be more dangerous in those zones.
“As I told you we also need to be a little more aggressive. It’s not only a question of build-up and prepare, which we are doing very good, we need to be more aggressive on the positional play, we need to be more aggressive attacking spaces and definitely we need to be more aggressive on the presence in the box in order to finish more often the chances we have and the chances we create.”