Pedro Caixinha says Rangers team was leaked to St Johnstone
Responding to criticism from St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean, who suggested Caixinha should concentrate on “plugging the leaks” in his dressing room rather than publicly commenting on the Perth club’s style of play, the Rangers manager suggested details of his team selection for the match at McDiarmid Park at the end of last season were passed on to the home side.
Caixinha, who denied his comparison this week of St Johnstone with the Morton side which Rangers played in a training-ground friendly was disrespectful, believes that leak was the real motivation behind MacLean’s retort.
Rangers return to Perth tomorrow night on Premiership duty and may have Miller back in their squad. The 37-year-old was dropped from the 4-1 win at Hamilton a fortnight ago in the aftermath of Rangers’ 2-0 defeat at home to Celtic which saw details of a heated debrief between Caixinha and his players emerge in the media.
Caixinha, who maintains he has “no issue” with Miller, will decide his line-up after training today. The Portuguese coach hit back at MacLean who he feels misinterpreted his remarks.
“Is it true or not that Morton play 4-4-2?,” said Caixinha. “Is it true or not true that St Johnstone play 4-4-2? So we have one common point. Is it true or not true that they look for the strikers up in front, that they play more long balls and second waves and set-pieces and crosses? So we have two common points.
“I never referred to the level of the team. Did I refer to level? No. I say formation and the style of play is the same, so it is going to fit for us in the preparation. But his [MacLean’s] problem is not about that. His problem is that he refers to leaks, for me to be more aware about the leaks, right?
“Do you know why he refers to that? I am going to tell you and maybe that is his concern. Last season when we go to play St Johnstone, remember? I never change my schedule. I never change my programmes and I don’t have any sort of connection with the other clubs. So we train all the time at 10 o’clock. Last season we trained at 10 o’clock the day before the match. Normally in that day, sometimes we might know the first X1, how we are going to start. Do you know what time St Johnstone trained that day? They trained at 12. You know why? Because of the leaks, expecting to know our X1 to train after they know it. So, maybe that is the concern now. Maybe they are not going to know it.”
Miller rejoined the Rangers first-team squad for training after being sent to Brentford to play for the club’s development squad in an under-23 friendly match. Caixinha played down suggestions of any problem in their relationship, pointing out that he sanctioned a new contract for the veteran striker in the summer.
“There is no latest situation [with Miller],” said Caixinha. “It’s just one technical decision. Who picks the first XI? Who picks the squad? Who picks the players who are out of the squad? There is no issue.
“Sometimes I take a decision and I explain directly to the person involved. Other times I don’t explain and other times I can explain later. I am the one who takes the decision.
“There are no problems at all. Period. Kenny is one of ours. He is training with us and like the others he is there to be selected or not. We will have the list of the squad tomorrow.
“He felt something in today’s session, more or less in the middle of it, but I don’t think it is going to be anything major.
“He just went there [to Brentford] and did okay. He is a top professional.
I have nothing to say about Kenny. He gives his maximum all the time here.
“I said it before the Hamilton match, after the Hamilton match and I’m saying it now.
“Sometimes, we used to say that a lie told a lot of times will become a truth. There is no issue. Period.
“He is one of ours. Who gave him the contract? I gave him the contract so that means I have trust and confidence in him. It is one question of decisions.
“If I have 25 players, some players, if they are not injured or booked or whatever, they need to be out of the squad. This week it is going to happen the same.
“It is my decision as well. I need to manage the group. And once again, who manages the group?”