As reported by STV, Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has revealed he changed his pre-match team talk against Celtic, acting on advice given to him by his assistant.
The Gers suffered yet another defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ men this season, the fourth time out of five meetings between the two this term.
Goals from Callum McGregor and Scott Sinclair sealed the deal for the Hoops in a 2-0 victory that puts them on the brink of a rare domestic treble of trophies.
In his post-match interview Caixinha revealed that he reconsidered the way he speak to his players before they took to the pitch after speaking to Helder Baptista.
As quoted by STV, Caixinha said:
Helder came to me just before the end of the warm-up and told me: ‘Please, in your pre-match speech, don’t be strong, don’t be so tough. They need to feel a little bit more freedom. He thought they were totally focused but not enjoying it. Maybe when you are not feeling that freedom, you don’t enjoy it and perform the way you need. So we were a little bit blocked. If you are blocked, even if you have the best organisation and ideas in the world, then you cannot perform.
Should the Ibrox boss added a bit more fire and passion to his team talk? Rangers looked well off the pace in the early stages, unable to to effectively close Celtic down or really get on the ball at all.
Perhaps if Caixinha had been ‘strong’ or ‘tough’ on his team before they took to the pitch then the players may have had a response suitable of the occasion.
Unfortunately it’ll have to go down as a lesson learned for the Rangers manager, who will get another shot at besting the Hoops next weekend when the two clubs go head-to-head for the sixth and final time this season.