Defensive woes mount for Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has revealed his defensive worries are set to continue for Wednesday's trip to Kilmarnock.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha was forced into making a triple change against Motherwell on Saturday. Picture: PA
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha was forced into making a triple change against Motherwell on Saturday. Picture: PA

Caixinha had to take off three of his back four at the halfway stage of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Motherwell and was already missing Danny Wilson through injury and the suspended James Tavernier.

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Lee Wallace is still struggling with a stomach injury, Lee Hodson is trying to shake off a fever and Clint Hill is receiving treatment for a hamstring problem.

Caixinha told his club’s website: “Danny, as far as I know, is not training today (Monday) again, James is returning. James was not only suspended but he was feeling something from the previous week.

“I’m not sure if Clint can totally recover, Lee Wallace as well, so I believe those two for sure should be out, and Lee Hodson maybe in the next couple of days, I cannot be 100 per cent, but I believe at least for the game we can have him.”

Jon Toral dropped back into a three-man defence with fellow midfielder Andy Halliday and Rob Kiernan, but even the on-loan Arsenal man is a doubt for the Rugby Park trip.

Caixinha said: “I don’t know also about Jon Toral because of the surface we are going to play.

“He has had some problems with his knee, he faced some surgery on the knee, and this is the surface that normally means we need to take care of those players.

“Not only of the injured, but also the previous injuries, and of the mental approach because if they are going into the game feeling that something may happen, it’s not good.

“So we need to analyse all those points, but for sure we’ll have a strong squad, for sure we’ll have players that are looking to have that chance to say ‘I’m present, I’m capable to be a Rangers player and capable to be in the first eleven.’

Philippe Senderos was overlooked on Saturday, despite being the only defender on the bench, and Caixinha could look to the club’s youth ranks with the likes of teenager Myles Beerman on stand-by.

“We totally trust in our players in the first squad, we totally trust our players from the youth system, even if I need to play for example with Myles at left-back I can do it,” he said.

“So we’ll have a strong squad next match and if we need to go to the youth system’s players in order to be on the first 11 or on the substitutes, there should be no problem with that.”

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