Caixinha Has Almost Full Group Available
Pedro Caixinha has said that by this time next week, only Lee Wallace should be missing from the group and we'll have welcomed back our walking wounded.
With Danny Wilson and Niko Kranjcar returning to main squad training this week ahead of Friday's trip to St Johnstone, David Bates and Jordan Rossiter are nearing a return.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media, Caixinha did have some selection issues as we don't expect Bruno Alves or Ross McCrorie back at the club until a short time ahead of the mmatch, so they are obviously in doubt.
'It`s going to be a short week as we play on Friday, so the players who will play on Tuesday like Bruno, and we hope he plays against Switzerland, will only have three days to recover. The same will happen with Ross who is playing in Latvia. This is the reality, and we need to organise things in that way. The boys who are here are doing a great job and the only thing we are thinking about at the moment is getting three more points on Friday.'
He went on to say.
'Maybe next week, Jordan can start training with the team. Niko and Danny started the previous week and will be with us again this week. I think David Bates too can join us on Thursday, so that means that the squad is getting completed again and we can have more options. All the boys who have been options in the last games have been doing great, doing what we want, and we are happy to have everyone on board so we have much more competitiveness which gives us more doubts in terms of the selection of the players. That is great for us.'
Turing attentions to the encounter at McDiarmid Park, Caixinha went on to say.
'It is going to be a huge challenge, and we have the idea from the last game of last season, and I think we need to do more of the same. When I say that, I mean we need to play more our way than letting the opponent play their way. They are very strong and if we let them play the game, the ball will be in the surroundings of our box all of the time, they will be winning second balls, they will be fighting, they will be close to the last-third and we will have problems with that. We have a strategy to take the ball and play our own game, otherwise we will have some difficulties.'
The gaffer also reflected on a positive week of training so far that included a training match against Greenock Morton.
'The whole week was great. We took advantage and worked on a lot of aspects, and worked at a high pace. So it was an intense week and we knew it was the moment for us to do that. That is why we played the game with three periods of 35-minutes - giving 35 minutes to the players who have had more game-time and then giving a chance to those who have not played that much, as well as giving a chance to some young boys too.'
He went on to add.
'So overall, it was a really good week and we are starting this week on a totally different level as we prepare for the next match. I think Morton play in a similar way to St Johnstone, with more-or-less the same philosophy, so it was good to put in practice some of those things.'