Duo Return To Training - Pedro Talks Improvements
Pedro Caixinha has confirmed that Niko Kranjcar and Danny Wilson have now both returned to training this week.
Meeting with the press on Wednesday, the gaffer told the Official Site that both had been back out on the pitches at the training ground and were now working their way back to full fitness and contention.
Kranjcar has missed the last three games against Partick Thistle, Celtic and Hamilton as the 33 year old recovered from a knee problem. Wilson however has only made three substitute appearances all season as he struggles with a calf injury in recent times.
'Niko started with us yesterday and he will be with us today again. It is like a programme, two days on and one day off with Steve Walker doing the physio work. And Danny Wilson, he is supposed to start with us today so let`s see how it goes.'
With Rangers due to fly out to Canada for the Eusebio Cup against Benfica, that had obviously been cancelled, so Rangers have now arranged a behind closed doors friendly against Morton for this coming weekend.
'It was disappointing and frustrating because we were about to be together with the team away from Auchenhowie. It was important in this moment in time, but that was the reality. We already had everything planned so we needed to re-plan everything and it was good that Morton accepted the challenge to be here with us so at least we have more time to work on the principles we really need to work on.'
Caixinha went on to say.
'In Canada we were not having time to work on this content, so we need also to see the positives from it. The only thing that changed is that we were supposed to travel on Tuesday, come back after the match and the players would be off on Saturday and Sunday. We are now training from Tuesday to Friday and we are playing on Saturday morning. The players will have off the afternoon of Saturday and the whole of Sunday.'
The gaffer also spoke of the need for Rangers to get back to basics this international window and that would be what our training was based on.
'I think this is the main point we need to work on now. We have scored goals in the last 12 matches, the official ones, and we have won seven, we`ve had two draws and we`ve lost three of those matches. We have scored 27 goals and conceded 14, so the difference here and the imbalance here is on the number of goals we concede. That is what we are focused on.'
He went on to say.
'Yesterday we come back for training and we started working on the basic principles about defending, the relations between the first and the second defender, and we will start today including the relation of the third defender, especially how to defend in the wide areas, the association, the relations, the co-operation that we need to have and know how to defend individually as a line and of course also as a block. I think we need to point in that direction because definitely it`s the main difference that is putting us in third position and the difference you see by the numbers you have from Celtic and from Aberdeen.'
Caixinha went on to say that when he talks about defending, he does mean the whole team and not just the defence.
'I never talk about the back, for me defending is not the back four or the back three or the back five or whatever, it`s the whole team. That`s what we need to work on more and that`s definitely what we need to improve, because if you have more clean sheets and you concede less goals you are going to win more football matches. That`s what we are definitely going to be focusing on in this two weeks and I think we need to keep focused even longer than that in order for us to be a balanced team and a comfortable team when we need to defend in all the circumstances. It doesn`t mean that we are going to be more a defensive team, no, we want to keep the same passion by attacking, but on the moments of the game we need to defend we need to defend better, definitely.'
With a nine day wait until St Johntone, Caixinha gave a few thoughts about them.
'This is one team that plays very good on the long balls, they have very good strikers, they have a great block on the second waves to win the second balls. I remember that in the last match of last season we play against them in the same stadium we are going to play in next Friday and what we did was try to play the game the way we wanted to play rather than let the opponent play their own game. That`s definitely what we need to do. We need to fight for the second balls and be balanced to win the duels, and to win the second balls we need to do it.'
'That`s not our game so we need to place the ball on the ground, let`s have some mobility, let`s play, let`s move, let`s create spaces, let`s attack spaces and take the identity from the opponent. I think that`s the only way we need to compete against the teams that are more physical. Don`t let them play their own way.'