Pedro Caixinha has heaped praise on stand-in Rangers captain Graham Dorrans just days after reportedly criticising the midfielder for handing away his armband.
It emerged earlier this week the Ibrox manager angrily hit out at the midfielder during his post-Old Firm debrief.
According to reports, Caixinha accused Dorrans of disrespecting him by giving the captaincy to Kenny Miller when the striker came off the bench during last week’s 2-0 loss to Celtic.
Miller has now been banished from the Rangers’ first-team squad amid suggestions he was responsible for leaking news of that explosive team meeting.
But Caixinha hailed Dorrans, pictured right, after the former West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City playmaker inspired Rangers’ fight back at Hamilton on Friday night.
“Dorrans is a great player,” said Caixinha after his team’s 4-1 win. “He is what I call a silent leader. He doesn’t need to shout, just leads all the time by playing football.
‘It’s a different type of leadership that I like.
“We’ve trusted him since the very beginning and I know what he’s capable of. He can get even better.”
Caixinha – under increasing pressure after his side’s latest lesson from Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops – looked to be in fresh trouble when Accies struck just 57 seconds in through Danny Redmond.
But Declan John’s quickfire brace and Daniel Candeias’ strike put Rangers back in control at the break.
And they were even able to add a fourth with Dorrans’ cheeky penalty after Ryan Jack was sent-off for collecting two bookings early in the second period.
Caixinha – who again had to do without injured defender Bruno Alves – added: “Declan is a great player who also scores goals.
“Bruno was very close for the game but we didn’t push him because of the astroturf surface. He needs to report with Portugal on Monday.
“For sure, they will assess him when he arrives there. The way he left, I think it’s totally clear.”
Accies may have struck early but Martin Canning’s injury-hit line-up failed to take the fight to Rangers once the Ibrox men got themselves level.
And boss Martin Canning admits his understudies failed to grasp their opportunity.
He said: “I don’t like to make a big deal about missing players but when you’re missing your number one goalkeeper [Gary Woods] as well as Darian MacKinnon, Georgios Sarris, David Templeton and Michael Devlin, you are missing good players who would usually start for us.
“But I believe in our squad. In football, when you get an opportunity you need to seize it. But I don’t think some people in there really believed we could win.”