Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha says his side will take winning momentum into their Ladbrokes Premiership opener after rounding off their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Caixinha again played a settled side in front of 20,739 fans at Hillsborough, almost 8,000 of them supporting Rangers, although James Tavernier was missing with a foot injury. Lee Hodson slotted in at right-back.
The Ibrox side had drawn with Marseille the previous weekend and won 2-1 in a training-ground game against Watford in midweek, and Caixinha was in confident mood as he looked ahead to his side’s first league game against Motherwell at Fir Park next Sunday.
Rangers know they will be judged on competitive action following their shock Europa League defeat by Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg, but Caixinha was a happy man as he analysed his final preparations.
Caixinha told RangersTV: “The last three games, Marseille, Watford and Sheffield Wednesday, were fantastic for us to get our cohesion, to get our ideas, to add everything in and get our confidence and our belief.
“The boys have been making a fantastic effort in order to keep focused and look forward, and today they had their bonus.
“We knew since the very beginning we are not the worst team in the world and we are not the best one, but we need to keep this focus and this approach to the game, especially since the very beginning, the principle of the 20 minutes.”
Rangers dominated the first half and Josh Windass gave them the lead just before the break when he slotted home following Ryan Jack’s through-ball.
Gers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham made a point-blank save from Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes and Kenny Miller doubled the visitors’ lead when he fired high into the net.
Caixinha added: “The Watford game was very similar to this wherein we controlled almost the entire first half, and while they confused us a little in the second half with the substitutions, we adapted with Kenny dropping off more as a shadow striker to help Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans in the middle.
“Things went okay in that moment, and we learned a very important lesson. Sometimes we have to sacrifice and suffer, and we can do that, and I am very happy with the boys.
“We need to take this momentum into the Motherwell game - and that’s the one which really matters.”