Rangers: New manager Pedro Caixinha eyes repeat of Mexico glory

Pedro Caixinha with a Rangers scarf at Ibrox
Pedro Caixinha has had his first media conference as Rangers manager

New Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha believes he will have no problem adapting to Scottish football - because he is "a world citizen".

But the 46-year-old Portuguese will begin interviewing for a "local" assistant to help him at Ibrox.

"I'm already adapted to it," he said. "I'm a world citizen. When I arrived in Mexico, I'd never been there.

"I knew nothing about Santos Laguna. I didn't even know anything about the Santos Laguna players or the league."

Caixinha, who has targeted a second-place finish in this season's Premiership and lifting the Scottish Cup, went on to lead the Torreon club to the Mexican title and win two other trophies before his most recent job in Qatar with Al-Gharafa.

He has previously been assistant at clubs in Saudi Arabia, Greece and Romania and managed in his homeland.

Caixinha, whose agent is former Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes, will be joined by his backroom team on Tuesday before an assistant is appointed.

Pedro Caixinha and agent Pedro Mendes at Celtic Park on Sunday
Pedro Caixinha and agent Pedro Mendes watched Rangers draw with Celtic

"This is not a new experience for me," he said at his first news conference as he succeeded Mark Warburton as manager. "This is the third time I have been working abroad.

"When I went to Mexico, because of that, I asked for an assistant.

"We have a shortlist that will be presented by the management side and we'll have some interviews and make our decision."

Caixinha watched Rangers draw 1-1 at Celtic Park in the Premiership on Sunday and, while he believes he can help the current squad improve, he recognises that money will have to be spent this summer to start narrowing the gap on the reigning champions and leaders.

"The main actors in this business are the footballers, so we are also going to need some investment and we are discussing those things," he said.

Rangers still intend to appoint a director of football despite Southampton director of scouting and recruitment Ross Wilson rejecting the offer last week, and Caixinha insists he is comfortable with such a structure.

"It is not unusual at all," he said. "I'm used to doing it.

Past five Rangers managers
Mark Warburton (June 2015 - Feb 2017)825415132
Ally McCoist (June 2011 - Dec 2014)16712122242
Walter Smith (Jan 2007 - May 2011)24615553388
Paul le Guen (May 2006 - Jan 2007)3116870
Alex McLeish (Dec 2001 - May 2006)23515544367

"It is a question of relations, a question of sharing the philosophy and it's a question of knowing how to work together at each level we are working at."

Caixinha also looked forward to the next meeting with city rivals Celtic - next month's Scottish Cup semi-final - and chasing an Aberdeen side who are eight points ahead in second place.

"We are in the cup semi-final, so we need to think about winning that trophy," he told Rangers TV.

"We need to think also about getting as close as possible to second position in the league.

"You need to be ambitious, but you need to be realistic at the same time.

"We are being totally ambitious and realistic in saying that we would like to end up in the second position - and why not try to get a trophy in the Scottish Cup too?"

The Portuguese coach described himself as a "workaholic" and highlighted his desire to implement a strong "mentality" within the Rangers squad.

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Highlights: Celtic 1-1 Rangers

And he said his ultimate aim was to take Rangers to the top of Scottish football.

"We are talking about a worldwide club, it's a massive club - the biggest club in Scotland," Caixinha said. "It's a club that's fighting to get on the top again.

"That challenge to help the club to rebuild the past, the history, the glory, is the main reason we came here."

Meanwhile, managing director Stewart Robertson said the search for a director of football continued.

"We are not putting a timeframe on it, but we are working away in the background," he added.

"It was key for us to get Pedro in and get that position sorted. He can work away with the squad and then we can sort the other position.

"It is more about getting the right person in rather than doing it quickly."

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