Rangers v Hamilton Accies
Ibrox Stadium
19th March 2017

Rangers go in to this afternoon’s SPL clash in fine fettle after taking a point at Parkhead last time out. Also, it’s another sell out Saturday to welcome new manager Pedro Caixinha Ibrox for his first game in charge since arriving last weekend from Al Gharafa. With Rob Kiernan still suspended, you’d fancy Danny Wilson to keep his place in a back four that should include Old Firm hero Clint Hill, Lee Wallace and Lee Hodson at right back who was outstanding last week, keeping Celtic danger man Scott Sinclair quiet.

Wes Foderingham should keep his place as number one choice keeper, again he had a fine match against Celtic with 3 superb saves. After that though, who knows who will start? This is mainly down to the face we don’t know Pedro’s preferred formation. Although he talked about what type of things he expects from his players, he has yet to allude to set tactics. The good news for Rangers fans is though that he’s not a one trick pony, and will mix things up if needed. What he has done this week though is answer every single question posed to him by the Scottish media. So well in fact, that a 15 minute press conference yesterday showed a tremendous knowledge of the upcoming opponents, manager and key players.

Pedro also answered questions regarding a home grown assistant manager…perhaps two, the decision regarding the departure of goalkeeping coach Jim Stewart and not changing things like diet simply for, in his words “changes sake”. There has been a freshness about all things Rangers this week, a refreshing one at that. Pedro talked about strong attacking football with a desire to hunt the ball when out of possession also. If this can be put into practice he’ll have 50,000 friends for life come 16:45 tomorrow, after months of sitting off opponents and inviting attacks due to lack of tackling.

On the flip side of the fixture though, we have Martin Canning and Hamilton Accies who are fighting for their job and SPL status respectfully. They’ll be mindful of a 6-0 reverse the last time they visited the south side of Glasgow, which from a blue point of view, shouldn’t be beyond the Gers again, especially with a vocal packed Ibrox. Canning has stated this week his desire to “learn from Caixinha”, but hopefully anything he picks up is put into practice for their next fixture.

In other news, former boss Alex McLeish has threw his hat into the ring for the still to be filled Director Of Football role, but you wonder if the new manager is a fan of this, such has been the cooled speculation the past week? Whatever the formation, line-up though, let’s welcome Pedro the best way we know how, with colour and noise. Personally, I’ll be keen to see if Barry McKay can get back to the standards set after a non existent showing last time out. We need a free flowing McKay who on his day has the eating of every SPL full back. Martin Waghorn will be eager to forget his East End misses by grabbing a goal and hopefully he gets more than one. Jon Toral should have recovered from a back strain in time, and I’ve the feeling he may just be a Pedro player?

Enjoy the game, and welcome to Rangers Pedro Caixinha.