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Pedro Caixinha orders Rangers to sharpen up after draw

by 15/09/2017 18:46:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Rangers could only manage a draw against 10-man Partick Thistle, having led 1-0
  • Pedro Caixinha's side rescued a point through captain Graham Dorrans
  • The Gers boss said post-match his side are currently conceding too many goals

By John Mcgarry For The Scottish Daily Mail

Published: 18:46 EDT, 15 September 2017 | Updated: 18:46 EDT, 15 September 2017

Pedro Caixinha ordered Rangers to sharpen up at both ends of the park after they blew their chance to move to the top of the Premiership table against 10-man Partick Thistle.

Needing a four-goal win to move ahead of Celtic and Aberdeen, they contrived to surrender the first-half lead Alfredo Morelos had given them as Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine turned the game on its head.

Although Graham Dorrans salvaged a point for the visitors with a superb strike, Caixinha admitted a lack of a killer instinct in the final third – particularly after Erskine's dismissal for a lunge at Morelos – left him enormously frustrated.

Boss Pedro Caixinha ordered Rangers to sharpen up after drawing 2-2 at Partick Thistle
Boss Pedro Caixinha ordered Rangers to sharpen up after drawing 2-2 at Partick Thistle

Boss Pedro Caixinha ordered Rangers to sharpen up after drawing 2-2 at Partick Thistle

Graham Dorrans scores for Rangers to make it 2-2 with 13 minutes remaining at Firhill 
Graham Dorrans scores for Rangers to make it 2-2 with 13 minutes remaining at Firhill 

Graham Dorrans scores for Rangers to make it 2-2 with 13 minutes remaining at Firhill 

'I'm disappointed. I think we dropped two points,' said the Portuguese. 'We were coming with just one desire. The only thing in our head was to take the three points.

'When we scored with 15 minutes to go I head the idea we would push on for the win. But during the first half when we had such clear chances to go and kill the game and didn't take them, I had a feeling it was going to cost us. The reality is the game penalises you in that direction.'

Another source of angst for Caixinha is the fact his side have kept only one clean sheet in six leagues games.

'The problem is on the conceded goals we're averaging 1.2 before this game,' he said. 'And it needs to be below one. I'm not concerned about it but I'm working in that direction.'

The 21-year-old Colombian Morelos celebrates after putting Rangers ahead against Partick
The 21-year-old Colombian Morelos celebrates after putting Rangers ahead against Partick

The 21-year-old Colombian Morelos celebrates after putting Rangers ahead against Partick

Rangers' cause wasn't helped by the early withdrawal of skipper Lee Wallace to a groin injury.

Replaced by new signing Declan John, it's not yet known if he will be fit for next Saturday's visit of Celtic but clearly there appears to be substantial doubt over that.

'As you know he's been feeling something on the groin since the surgery,' said the Ibrox boss.

'It's a question of balance. He felt it so we had to make the substitution early on in the game. I think Declan did okay. Now we have options.

'I'll need to evaluate the situation with the doctors. Now is premature to talk about it.'

Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine (pictured celebrating) turned the game on its head
Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine (pictured celebrating) turned the game on its head

Blair Spittal and Chris Erskine (pictured celebrating) turned the game on its head

Although Erskine walked for a late lunge on Morelos, many Rangers players felt Ryan Edwards might also have seen red for an earlier tackle on Ryan Jack that left the Rangers midfielder needing treatment.

'I saw the tackle but I am not the referee,' Caixinha said.

'I am just the coach, I am not here to point or to criticise the referees. This is football. Sometimes they have good decisions, other times they have not.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald praised his players for battling to a point in the midst of an incessant Rangers' onslaught.

'We have lost a few late goals recently,' he said. 'That's great for the lads, it gives them a bit more confidence and belief - especially with ten men.

Referee William Collum sends off Chris Erskine for a late challenge of Alfredo Morelos 
Referee William Collum sends off Chris Erskine for a late challenge of Alfredo Morelos 

Referee William Collum sends off Chris Erskine for a late challenge of Alfredo Morelos 

'I thought we defended our box really well. That's why we left the three centre-backs on, to go and deal with that threat and I felt they did so.'

Asked if he feared the worst when Erskine was sent off, Archibald replied: 'Yeah, you are always aware of that. We were about to make a change ourselves and then Chris Erskine goes and gets sent off.

'To be fair to the lads, we should maybe have changed it a bit earlier. But it took a quality goal to make it 2-2. I didn't think they worked our goalie too much. But if you let Dorrans step in and have time, he has the quality to hurt you.

'It was a red card. I've no complaints. He hasn't got a bad bone in his body - he can't tackle, he's never been able to tackle.'

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