Caixinha Hopeful On Alves
Rangers' gaffer Pedro Caixinha is hoping for good news when it comes to defender Bruno Alves following the October international break as we go into Friday's tie with St Johnstone.
The centre half hasn't featured for Rangers since he limped off in the League Cup win over Partick Thistle on September 9 but Caixinha revealed as he met with the press yesterday that he came through the international break set of workload without issue, so should be set for a return - subject to a late assessment.
Speaking to the Official Site Caixinha said of the player who made Portugal's bench as they took victory over Switzerland to qualify for the World Cup.
'I think Bruno will arrive back in Scotland today and will be training with the group tomorrow. He will be able to be with us on Friday. With his situation, it was all about following the process - he did everything and has totally recovered from the injury on the calf.'
With Portugal making the World Cup and Scotland failing to, he was asked for his thoughts on that.
'I feel we are a very strong nation in football. We are much more solid than we were years ago, and I think this is the fifth qualification in a row we have had - and that means for 20 years we have been doing things okay. It`s the opposite for Scotland, and since 1998, they have not been in a major tournament. We have already won the Euros and made the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup, and now, again, we are directly into the World Cup without the need for play-offs.'
'It was not easy against Swtizerland - but Portugal is doing things okay, it has a fantastic coach, a great group of players and a totally different mentality. They know what it means to win, so they are going in that direction.'
For more of a focus on Scotland, he did admit some surprise given the quality of coaching and he did afterall do his badges here.
'When I came here to do my badges, I was really obsessed with the way things are done here with regards to the coaches and their information and education. I really learned a lot when I was here and with the education of the coaches being so good, I would expect that things would be going in that direction too from the bottom to the top.'
However, he did go on to point out.
'But, the focus is on the fitness side and the physicality side, and we are not focussed on the main part of the game, which is the decisions, the style of play, the game models and the training methodology. A lot of things surround football nowadays, and we need to understand that information will be very, very useful for us.'