Pedro Caixinha has pledged to protect Rangers from fresh pain in the wake of Saturday’s Old Firm humiliation.
His team were thrashed 5-1 as Celtic enjoyed their biggest ever win at Ibrox. Caixinha has accepted his share of the blame after seeing his narrow midfield diamond ruthlessly exposed by Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts.
The Portuguese coach has promised to set the standards his side will require if they are to bounce back in their last four games of the season.
He told Rangers TV: “I need to lead by example and I am here to protect and defend the club, and the players as well.
“Another thing is to expect a strong reaction from the players. That is the reason I am telling them what my intentions are with regards to next season. Of course, my intention is also how to conclude the four matches we have to face, and face thinking about winning.”
Reports have suggested Caixinha is planning a clear-out of his first-team squad. And he claims he already knows the direction he wants to take the team next season.
“Today we had, in my opinion, our most important meeting with the players,” he said. “It regarded the present and the future, what it really means to defend this club and what it means to be here playing at this club.
“One of the things which brought us to the club at the end of a season was to be able to assess the players on a daily basis and up-close. We wanted to assess everything about the squad, the players and Scottish football in order for us to take decisions from this season into next season. We know what we want.”
Caixinha hopes to have skipper Lee Wallace back from stomach surgery after Sunday’s trip to Partick Thistle. And midfielder Jon Toral also hopes to play a part before the season ends and he returns to parent club Arsenal. The Spaniard has missed both of last month’s derbies with Celtic with a rib injury.