Pedro Caixinha wants to get Rangers stars back into Scotland squad

Pedro Caixinha wants Rangers to play their part in Scotland's push to reach the World Cup.

Pedro Caixinha wants to see his place contribute to Scotland's Russia 2018 hopes. Picture: John Devlin
Pedro Caixinha wants to see his place contribute to Scotland's Russia 2018 hopes. Picture: John Devlin

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The national team have fired themselves back into contention for next summer’s finals after manager Gordon Strachan decided to base the core of his Dark Blues line-up on Celtic’s ‘Invincibles’ group.

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But while the Parkhead side’s Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths played key roles in the Scots’ back-to-back wins against Lithuania and Malta, there was not a single Rangers player even named in Strachan’s group.

That is a situation that has to change according to Rangers boss Caixinha as he looks to stiffen his own side’s winning mentality.

Defender Bruno Alves was on duty with Portugal last week while Lee Hodson was involved with Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland set-up, but Caixinha believes his homegrown talent must now force their way into the Scotland team if Rangers are to develop a strong resolve.

Speaking about his internationals, the Portuguese coach told RangersTV: “It is important for our players when they go there that they receive minutes. It is also important for our players when they go there, that the national teams are fighting to be present in the great competitions of the world - and what better than a World Cup?

“It is important for them to come back, enjoy winning, and have that spirit - that is always good for us as a team and Rangers needs to have not only players in those national teams, but also we want to have players in the Scottish national team.

“It’s one of the goals from us. We know they are doing well and we expect them at least to make the play-offs, and we want to have a contribution from our players in that run.”