Rangers: Pedro Caixinha still confident players can overcome Celtic

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has won three of his six games in charge of the Ibrox side

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha remains "confident" that his side can overcome Celtic on Saturday.

The Ibrox side have lost four, and drawn one, of the Old Firm games this season, but Caixinha has not written off his side's chances in their final league meeting.

"The previous games belong to the past," Caixinha said. "The present and the future will be on Saturday.

"If I don't believe we could do these things, I would resign and go home."

Caixinha's first game in charge against Celtic came in last Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final, which Rangers lost 2-0. The Portuguese admits there is a gulf between the two teams, but insists that he is working to close that.

Brendan Rodgers' side will travel to Ibrox unbeaten domestically this season, and with captain Scott Brown able to play after his appeal against the red card shown for his tackle on Ross County's Liam Boyce two weeks ago was upheld.

"I'm assessing the gulf between the clubs and I'm working on a daily basis. It exists and I cannot deny it," Caixinha said. "But we want to reduce it and we are going to do it.

"It is not a question of time, though. It is a question of work, belief and commitment.

"If there was not confidence in the squad I would not be here.

"On Sunday, we didn't have the passion in order to be committed enough to let the game flow. The breakdown in communication is what we analysed after the match and everything was clear.

Celtic captain Scott Brown and Rangers midfielder Emerson Hyndman
Celtic captain Scott Brown can play at Ibrox after his red card appeal was upheld

"Am I confident that will be cleared up for Saturday? I'm always confident.

"After the game, the players were the same as all the Rangers supporters - sad.

"We have had our setback but we have another match. We need to improve and put passion on the pitch in order to defend the colours of this club."

Caixinha also insisted that there is no disharmony in his squad over the pre-season schedule.

Rangers play their final game of the season away to St Johnstone on 21 May and if they finish, as expected, in the top four they will play their first Europa League qualifier on 29 June.

That leaves five-and-a-half weeks for the players to be granted time off and for the manager to prepare them for his first full campaign in charge.

"Not at all," said Caixinha when asked if the players had expressed any misgivings about the pre-season schedule. "They are hard workers. They are professionals.

"It's not me who set up the plan, it's the date of the first competition, which is June 29.

"It's totally important we have the right amount of time to prepare in order to be ready for that first match.

"It's my job [to make sure we are prepared]. According to the time I have, I need to organise things in that direction. That [time] is what we have, that's what we need to organise."

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