'˜Rangers have improved over international break', says Pedro Caixinha

Pedro Caixinha believes Rangers have gone up to a new level after making the most of the international break.

Pedro Caixinha believes the international break has been a boost for his squad. Picture: Getty Images
Pedro Caixinha believes the international break has been a boost for his squad. Picture: Getty Images

Gers face St Johnstone in Perth on Friday and the Ibrox boss has worked his team hard over the past week to ensure they are in top condition before facing Tommy Wright’s team.

He says Saturday’s behind-closed-doors bounce game with Morton was also the perfect tune-up for Saints.

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Caixinha - who put out three different XIs during the Ton clash, which was played over three 35-minute periods - told RangersTV: “The whole week was great. We took advantage and worked on a lot of aspects, and worked at a high pace. So it was an intense week and we knew it was the moment for us to do that.

“That is why we played the game with three periods of 35 minutes - giving 35 minutes to the players who have had more game-time and then giving a chance to those who have not played that much, as well as giving a chance to some young boys too.

“So overall, it was a really good week and we are starting this week on a totally different level as we prepare for the next match.

“I think Morton play in a similar way to St Johnstone, with more or less the same philosophy, so it was good to put in practice some of those things.”

Caixinha also used the Morton friendly to blood young defenders Andy Dallas, Kyle McLelland, Lewis Mayo and Scott Gray.

And he was encouraged by the way his fresh-faced back-line stood up to Jim Duffy’s side during the 3-3 draw.

He said: “They played the last period. We had Andy at right-back. Kyle, who is 15, was one of the centre-halves, Lewis, who is 17, was the other one, and Scott, who is also 17, was the left-back.

“So they did very well, and in that period of time, we only conceded the one goal from a direct free-kick.

“I liked overall the three groups. They were three different groups, with a different formation in each of the periods.

“It was also a moment for us to try something and also for us to give minutes to the players who have not been playing.”