Caixinha's Partick Delight
Rangers' Pedro Caixinha was delighted to see Rangers finally take victory over Partick Thistle in last night's Scottish League Cup quarter final.
Having struggled to a two all draw against the side at Firhill on Friday evening, we went into the Cup double header looking to put a few things right and although Carlos Pena put us ahead ten minutes after the half time restart, Partick hit back in the last minute of the game to send the match into extra time.
Nerves were ended as Daniel Candeias scored in minute 94 and Eduardo Herrera make it safe in the 99th minute.
Partick did manage more efforts on target across the game than Rangers did though.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, Ross McCrorie's performance as a second half substitute for the injured Bruno Alves drew particular praise from the gaffer as he believes he's destined for the top.
We are however waiting on an update on Alves and Declan John who went off with a knock ahead of the Old Firm at Ibrox against Celtic this weekend.
'We lost Bruno and we lost Declan, who to that moment, were playing very, very well, and the two players which came out in their position - Lee Hodson did a very good job, but for me, for sure, Ross is going to be the future of this country - not only this club, as a centre-half, and we are very glad to have him with us. We always knew what he was capable of - he started the pre-season with us and he is a humble guy, a hard-worker and he will keep doing his job very, very well.'
He went on to say.
'We will assess Bruno and Declan tomorrow. We need to wait 24-48 hours to see what is going on - we know we have a game on Saturday, so let`s see how things are. Tomorrow is a day-off - it was already in the plan - so because of the extra-time, we have to have a bit more attention on the recovery of the group for Saturday, but it is a question of managing the training sessions and managing the content of the training sessions. That is what we need to start thinking about now, knowing the direction we want for Saturday`s match.'
Reflecting on the game itself, Caixinha went on to say.
'Conceding an equaliser in the 90th minute is not easy, especially when you have so many chances to kill the game and to have a calm game. But, we were punished for that, punished for ourselves and punished because of we could not control and score in the number of clear situations we had. The team is always looking to get the second goal - like we did in the first half of extra time - as it gives us that level of confidence and brings us the quality the players really have as they are enjoying the game under the pressure of the result - and the two goals make that. Our team need to understand when we have it, we can control the anxiety levels, the balance and the emotional levels, but I really liked the hard job the boys did.'
With slow starts to second halves in recent weeks, one positive the gaffer was definitely taking was how we restarted both periods in this match.
'It was one of the points we discussed with the boys in the match meeting. We reinforced the point during half-time, and yes, it was one of the best second half entrances we have had, especially where we arrived in a lot of situations, especially in the wide areas where there were very good combinations and associations. We could not find the free player though to kill the action, but, as I say, I am very pleased with the hard work the boys did.'