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Rangers boss insists his team was leaked to St Johnstone

by 11/10/2017 18:35:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • St Johnstone host Rangers in the Scottish League Cup on Friday
  • Steven MacLean urged Pedro Caixinha to concentrate on his own club
  • Caixinha held heated meeting with his players after the recent Old Firm defeat

By Mark Wilson For The Scottish Daily Mail

Published: 18:35 EDT, 11 October 2017 | Updated: 18:35 EDT, 11 October 2017

Pedro Caixinhahas suggested the Rangers starting line-up was leaked to St Johnstone before the last meeting between the clubs.

Speaking ahead of Friday night’s trip to McDiarmid Park, the Ibrox manager made his eye-catching claim in response to comments from Steven MacLean.

The veteran Perth striker, unhappy at Caixinha seeing similarities in the styles of St Johnstone and Championship side Morton, told the Rangers boss to devote more of his energy to ‘stopping leaks coming out his dressing room’.

The Ibrox boss compared mid-table Championship side Morton to MacLean's team
The Ibrox boss compared mid-table Championship side Morton to MacLean's team

The Ibrox boss compared mid-table Championship side Morton to MacLean's team

While many viewed that as a reference to the public fallout from a stormy squad meeting after last month’s Old Firm defeat, Caixinha had a far more intriguing take.

He claimed Saints were ready to move back training times prior to Rangers visiting Perth in May, so they could adapt to inside information about the Ibrox team selection.

Caixinha fielded a number of youngsters that day as his side rounded off last season with a 2-1 victory over Tommy Wright’s men. Insisting he did not expect another leak this week, Caixinha said of MacLean: ‘His problem is that he refers (to) leaks, for me to be more aware about the leaks, right? Do you know why he refers (to) that?

Steven MacLean (right) has told Pedro Caixinha to stop wasting time with ¿mind games¿
Steven MacLean (right) has told Pedro Caixinha to stop wasting time with ¿mind games¿

Steven MacLean (right) has told Pedro Caixinha to stop wasting time with ‘mind games’

‘I am going to tell you and maybe that is his concern. Last season when we go to play St Johnstone, it was the last match, remember? I never changed my schedule, I never changed my programmes and I don’t have any sort of connection with the other clubs.

‘So we train all the time at 10 o’clock. Last season, we train 10 o’clock the day before the match. Normally in that day, we might know the first XI, OK? How we are going to start.

‘Do you know what time St Johnstone trained that day? You know why? Because of the leaks, expecting to know our XI (and) to train after they know it.

‘So maybe that is the concern now. Maybe they are not going to know it.’

Asked to expand further, Caixinha added: ‘My answer stays here and finishes here.’

Caixinha held heated meeting with his players after the recent Old Firm defeat
Caixinha held heated meeting with his players after the recent Old Firm defeat

Caixinha held heated meeting with his players after the recent Old Firm defeat

The Portuguese was, however, adamant that MacLean had grasped the wrong end of the stick with his initial complaint.

Discussing a bounce game against Morton during the international break, Caixinha said he had invited them because they ‘play in a similar way’ to St Johnstone.

‘It is true or not true that Morton play 4-4-2?’ he asked.

‘It is true or not true that St Johnstone play 4-4-2? So we have one common point, right?

‘It is true or not true that they look for the strikers up in front, that they play more long balls and second waves and set-pieces and crosses? So we have two common points.

‘I never referred to level. I said formation and the style of play is the same, so it is going to fit for us in the preparation.’

Caixinha also said Kenny Miller has his ‘trust and confidence’ as he insisted there were no problems with the experienced striker.

Miller was dropped from the squad to face Hamilton prior to the international break, with Caixinha refusing to discuss whether that was connected to reports of the heated Old Firm debrief.

The 37-year-old played for Rangers’ Under-20 side against Brentford but has since returned to first-team training.

Caixinha declined to say whether Miller would feature in Perth — with the striker suffering a minor knock yesterday — but stressed: ‘He is one of ours. Who gave him the contract (last season)?

‘I gave him the contract so that means I have trust and confidence in him. It is one question of decisions. If I have 25 players, some players need to be out of the squad.

‘This week it is going to happen the same. Some players who are not going to be in the squad are going to play against Dundee United here at 2 o’clock on Friday.

‘There are no problems at all — period.

‘Kenny is one of ours. He is training with us and like the others he is there to be selected or not. He is a top professional. He gives his maximum all the time here.’ 

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