Kilmarnock striker accuses Pedro Caixinha of ‘disrespect’

Conor Sammon: Fired up. Picture: SNS
Conor Sammon: Fired up. Picture: SNS
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Conor Sammon has accused Rangers manager Pedro 
Caixinha of disrespecting 
Kilmarnock by naming his line-up a day early.

The Ibrox manager raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he announced his starting XI a full 30 hours before his side’s Rugby Park clash with Killie.

With a defence ravaged by injuries, the Portuguese coach confirmed youngsters David Bates and Myles Beerman would be making their first-team debuts.

He later explained he had taken the unusual course of action as a show of faith in his depleted squad.

But Killie frontman Sammon says the move only served to fire up his side as they battled to a deserved 0-0 draw.

“It’s a bit of a strange one,” he said. “I don’t really understand the whole meaning behind it. I’m not sure if he was trying to highlight the fact that maybe they had a few injuries or something.

“But we used it for a little bit of extra motivation by thinking, ‘Yeah, it’s a little bit disrespectful’.

“It just fuelled us even more to go out and do the business – and I thought we did that.”

Caretaker Killie manager Lee McCulloch was adamant he did not change his starting line-up after Caixinha dispensed with the element of surprise.

But he did tinker with his gameplan, putting Sammon up against teenage left-back Beerman down the right wing.

The 18-year-old former Manchester City winger stood up to the test well and Sammon reckons he could have a big part to play for Rangers going forward.

The Irishmansaid: “He’s a smallish full-back but I thought he did well. You can see he has a bright future in the game.

“We are always trying to play to our strength and pick up on little weaknesses that we think we can get at.

“It was a good test for us as Rangers are a good side but we’re pleased to get a clean sheet and show some resilience when they had spells of pressure.

“Both teams had chances to win it. Sitting in the dressing room after we were frustrated we hadn’t found the back of the net.

“Seany Longstaff had a great chance right at the end but overall a draw was maybe a fair result.”