Pedro Caixinha: '˜I'm not afraid of dying,' says Rangers boss
There have been dark murmurings for months now about cliques at the club. Caixinha shipped out 11 of the Brits he inherited from predecessor Mark Warburton during the summer transfer window and would almost certainly have liked to have moved more out.
Of the 11 new arrivals, eight were foreign and, three months later, some have yet to master basic English which, one imagines, would make mixing with new team-mates difficult.
The fact that details of Caixinha’s post-derby critique were leaked to two tabloids suggests that the dressing room is divided. The Portuguese claimed that they are united, while also slating the informer(s) for disloyalty.
Even allowing for the fact that Caixinha was conducting his conference in his second (or, possibly, third) language, the rambling nature of his comments, when asked about the meeting, was bizarre.
“On the day after the match, I always analyse and speak to them,” he said. “Why are you just asking me this now? Is there something going on that I don’t know?
“It’s weird that you are telling me about that. I don’t know anything about it. But I can tell you that all the analysis we do, we do it privately.
“Have some of you been to Las Vegas? Yes? Okay, did you tell your wife everything that happened when you left Las Vegas? What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas; that’s the way it is.”
Caixinha claimed to be unconcerned that the leaks, which were evident at Ibrox during the summer, have not ended with his clearout of unwanted personnel
“It’s good that it’s coming out; it’s just one confirmation, confirmation that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But some guys are going and telling everything to their wife. They go against the promise, they go against the sentence.
“Is the story inaccurate? I don’t know. I don’t know the story. I know what happened in Las Vegas but I know also that what happens in Las Vegas ‘should’ stay in Las Vegas.”
When one reporter present began to inform him of the content of the reports, Caixinha bristled: “Look, I don’t care about the story – I know what happened. It happened exactly in this room but it’s between me and my players. It’s private.”
Caixinha conceded that there may still be players who are not buying into his vision for the club.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said. “But, when you go with one group of friends to Las Vegas and you know you are going to party and just enjoy the party, nobody is going to know about the party.
“Then one of your friends [tells] his wife, your wife and the other wives what happens. That means the sentence is not valid any more.”
Asked whether there are now squad members who will no longer be invited to the gambling Mecca, he replied: “My friend, I’m not going to speak to you any more about Las Vegas.
“I’m not concerned about anything. One thing that maybe was in Las Vegas and wasn’t exposed is that I’m not afraid of dying – at all. Zero. I always will die with my ideas and mine alone. That’s what makes the difference – all the difference.”
There are some who fear that Caixinha may not be playing with a full deck and he accepts it is a worry that, in spite of having 22 competitive games under his belt since arriving in March, he has yet to win three in a row. “That’s something that I need to be focused on and concerned about – but that’s my job, that’s part of football,” he said. “That’s not part of the circus we are facing here and you’re trying to use me as a clown – and I’m not going to allow it. You are trying to make this situation a circus but I don’t care about it so, if I don’t care about it, it is not coming to me.”
Yet, when asked whether he believed that the media was attempting to portray him as a figure of fun, he changed tack.
“No, not at all,” he said. “I feel like sometimes we live in a circus and they want me to be the fish in the goldfish bowl. But I am not taking part in that; that is what I am telling you.
“I will tell you one thing – it doesn’t matter what people say or what people write, I will be focused on my job, totally focused on my job.
“If I leave tomorrow, the club will be better than it was when I arrived. If I leave in ten years’ time, we will be totally in a different position.
“That is what I am focused on. No distractions. No distractions at all.”
Caixinha insists that the truth will be evident at Hamilton tomorrow evening, when his players will either recover from The Hangover or continue to exhibit Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.