Rangers 1-0 Progres: Pedro Caixinha says side needs time to find their rhythm

Pedro Caixinha

Pedro Caixinha insists his new-look Rangers side needs time to find form after they laboured to a 1-0 win on their return to Europe after six years.

Kenny Miller's first-half strike secured victory against Luxembourg's Progres Niederkorn in their Europa League first round qualifier.

"I'm not a guy that can make miracles in three weeks," said boss Caixinha, who fielded five of his new signings.

"The team is ready to get the rhythm. You only get it playing and by time."

Three new arrivals - Fabio Cardoso, Ryan Jack and Dalcio - started the match, with fellow summer captures Daniel Candeias and Alfredo Morelos coming on as substitutes.

Miller's first-half finish ensured the Ibrox side take a lead into Tuesday's second leg, but Caixinha's side were expected to win far more comfortably against the part-timers.

"It's not a question of fitness, it's a question of time to get the fitness," Caixinha added.

Niko Kranjcar
Niko Kranjcar looked impressive on his return to action for Rangers

"The majority of the players had a good performance, a good rhythm. It's not a question of fitness but it's more a question of better decisions and more aggression."

Niko Kranjcar, signed last summer by Mark Warburton but injured for most of the campaign, was the star of the show for Rangers.

And Caixinha believes the Croat can be a key figure this term.

"He's a fantastic player, a playmaker, he's someone that understands the game," the manager added. "With some freshness in the legs and some freshness in his decisions, we were producing some fantastic football.

"He knows how to play between lines, how to make the last pass, his delivery on set-pieces was great. So he needs to keep playing to get the rhythm.

"We are building a team and we know it's better to build with a small result but at the same time a win. We want to progress and keep going in this competition but, of course, in the second leg we need to do more and we want to keep going."

The Portuguese coach says his side will be set up to go for the win at the Stade Josy Barthel on Tuesday.

Kenny Miller scores
Kenny Miller grabbed the only goal in an underwhelming display from Rangers

"It is half-time and we are winning," he said. "I don't want the team to think that we are winning going there and to just think about a draw or a 2-1 or whatever.

"I'm not thinking like that. I just think about winning. This is the mentality of our club and the standards demanded. This is the way we need to think."

Progres boss Paolo Amodio said. "We will start with 0-0 next week and anything is possible in football.

"I think all the pressure is on Rangers to make sure they go through. They probably expected to win tonight by five or six goals and it's not the case so anything could happen next week."

Should Rangers reach the second round, they look likely to face Cypriot side AEL Limassol, who won 4-0 away to St Joseph's of Gibraltar.

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