Caixinha - Couldn't Cope With Aberdeen Pressure
Manager Pedro Caixinha has admitted that Rangers' midfield just simply couldn't cope with the pressure Aberdeen put them under in Wednesday evening's loss.
Hosting Derek McInnes side at Ibrox for the tie, Martyn Waghorn's 61st minute goal wasn't enough to force a comeback as we were already two down at that point and many irked with the result will point to the fact that the visitors dominated the telling stats in the game.
That wasn't lost on Caixinha as he spoke to the Official Site in his post game press conference as the Portuguese gaffer admitted we were left chasing shadows for much of the first half.
'Of course I am disappointed, we tried everything and I think the boys put in a great effort in order to try and deliver a win to the fans in the last game at Ibrox this season. Unfortunately we couldn`t cope with it, we came from 2-0 down and when we scored our first goal I think it was possible and the boys kept going and kept trying it but by the end it was not possible. It was about understanding what the game needed and once again in the first-half we could not perform in the way we wanted to because we did not understand the game.'
He went on to say.
'The opponent was much stronger than us in physicality, on second balls and being more aggressive on the pitch. It is not possible to play football so you need to show different qualities to change the pattern a little bit. We tried to go in that direction a little bit more in the second-half, placing Barrie and Martyn a little bit closer to our midfielder and also inside closer to Joe Garner. It was difficult to do it because once again they started stronger than us and score in the early stages of the second-half but even so we didn`t give up.'
'We could not cope with the pressure the opponent was putting on us and we need to deal with it when that pressure is coming. We lacked that and especially the three midfielders were being pressed and chased all around the pitch which meant we left more spaces. The opponent`s two full-backs were up the park and that meant we had space on the back and we could not cope to eliminate that pressure and exploit those spaces. The first goal we conceded came from one situation exactly like that.'
With us ending the game with three Academy graduates on the pitch, Aidan Wilson making his debut while Myles Beerman came on as Lee Hodson's replacement when he picked up an injury and finally Jamie Barjonas getting the last 30 minutes, Caixinha said of their performances.
'We tried to give our best with a lot of young players on the pitch who really did fantastically and they showed that the future of this club and youth system is going in the right direction. The young boys will be part of the team for sure in the next match but we are about to finish for the season and now I have assessed and have a clear idea about who we can count on. I need to keep doing my job in order to bring the players I want to Rangers and the players I know that are going to perform according to the Rangers standards. We have some of those in the squad already but we need a lot more.'