Rangers: Pedro Caixinha needs time to change team, says Barry Ferguson

Rangers fans spill onto the pitch to celebrate with players after their injury-time winner against Partick
Rangers fans spilled onto the pitch to celebrate with players after their late winner against Partick

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson insists manager Pedro Caixinha needs time to transform the current side into a genuine Premiership force again.

Caixinha's team celebrated wildly after Joe Garner's injury-time header secured Sunday's 2-1 win at Partick Thistle.

But Aberdeen's victory at Hearts all but assured Rangers will finish third.

"You've got to give him time, into the summer, to get a pre-season with the guys and see what kind of money is available to change it," Ferguson said.

"I know he's said he's going to change 10, 11, 12 players, but there's no chance that's going to happen.

"A lot of these guys are under contract for two or three years, how are you going to get rid of them? He'll need to work with this group of players that he's got. He might be able to add two or three.

"There are some good players at Rangers, they're just short on confidence.

"It's going to be a big summer for him. He's going to have to work really hard with this group because I don't think they're going to be able to bring in a lot of players."

Ferguson, who won five league titles, five Scottish Cups and five Scottish League Cups in his two spells at the club, admitted he was surprised at the scale of the celebrations from players and supporters at Firhill.

"It was just more relief from the last couple of weeks that they've had, but I was pretty surprised by the reaction of the players and the management," he told BBC Scotland's Sportsound.

Rangers' Myles Beerman chases Celtic's James Forrest
Rangers were left chasing shadows against Celtic for much of their recent Ibrox clash

"It just shows you the pressure they've been under. It was like they'd won the league.

"I thought Partick Thistle were the better team, up until Barrie McKay came on and showed a bit of magic to score the goal and then Kenny [Miller], who's been doing it all season for Rangers, has popped up with a great run and cross. It sums up Rangers just now."

Rangers' relief at their late comeback followed further criticism of the team and Caixinha's tactics following their back-to-back defeats by Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final and a record 5-1 humbling at Ibrox.

Ferguson admitted he was surprised at the way the Portuguese coach set up his side for the second encounter.

"In times gone by, if we had injuries or suspensions and we didn't have our strongest team out, and we knew Celtic were going to be stronger, we would set up to be hard to beat and then take the game for as long as we could," he added.

"Then going into the last 15, we might nick a goal. That's the way I thought he would have gone last week against Celtic. I was surprised with the formation because down the flanks Celtic killed Rangers."

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