Match Preview: Rangers vs Hamilton - Welcome Pedro!

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Pedro Caixinha was unveiled as our new manager and spent his first few hours taking in the match and performance at the piggery. Hardly the glittering welcome we would have liked but then again he does have much history and experience dealing with and slaying Beasts! He would however witness a side who looked hungry and intent on showing their desire to impress the new manager. A desire that has been sadly lacking for much of the season.

After Graeme Murty’s first two games in charge I’m sure I was not the only one who feared the worst. Results had not gone our way and we had lost two games in succession versus Dundee and Inverness. However after spirited victories against St Johnstone and Hamilton, we went into last weekend away match at the Cesspit hoping Murty had steadied the ship. Very few of us would have predicted the fantastic performance and subsequent draw that we produced. It was fantastic to watch the side stand up to being bullied and play with a sense of urgency.

I have to say the biggest difference that was noticeable to me was that the side were playing for themselves, the manager and the support. The last visit to the cesspit they looked as if they would rather be anywhere but there. In more recent outings we have fared better however mentally and physically we were not up to the challenge. Last Saturday was different and what a joy to finally see that most of the team had decided to stand and fight for the jersey. When big Clint came charging out of nowhere to propel himself and make contact to launch the ball over the line, it typified the attitude the team produced last week. We can only hope that we can produce similar performances all over the park when we meet again in the cup semi-final.

It was fitting that in Graeme Murty’s last game in charge we produced arguably the best performance of the season. I’m sure all of us wish Murty well and hope that he can continue with us in some capacity. He hands over to Pedro and there is much talk of a local assistant to be recruited to work alongside the manager and his backroom team during their settling in period. Neil McCann would be a great addition although there are other possibilities such as John Brown and Alex Rae. Kenny Miller is also there and could be used to assist should the manager require it. Those are just a few names, there are many more who could be considered.

We entertain Hamilton again this Saturday who I have no doubt will be looking to put up a sterling performance after their 6-0 defeat two weeks ago. It will of course be Pedro’s first match in charge with a full house and only a few single seats remaining to welcome the new manager. Kiernan will still be suspended and you would have to suggest the manager would start with the same line up as last Saturday. Wilson and Hill looked comfortable together and Hill was immense throughout last week’s match. I may be tempted to start with Windass who looked bright when he came off the bench last week however it’s difficult to predict with a new manager.

The system and formation will be what we all initially look for. Pedro reportedly likes to play attacking football, however, unlike Mark Warburton he will change and adapt his teams and formation to suit certain games and situations. Joe Garner may be back for this match which would be interesting considering his escape from a red card in the last match. Again I am going to be controversial and say I still don’t believe it was red. It was indeed “reckless” as he went to balloon the ball into the stand. He missed it and his thigh made contact with Imrie’s thigh/arse! If we look at the rules, “reckless” is indeed a yellow. It’s all interpretation and on another day it would have been red. That’s football and not as those from the dark side insinuate, a masonic conspiracy. I Imagine Imrie is still complaining as according to his interview on national radio, it was all the referee’s fault that his side lost 6-0.

On further inspection over the last two weeks we have seen two different referees verbally attacked and have their integrity challenged by those from the east. John Beaton and Bobby Madden have been charged by the Rangers haters. Their crime was to not cower to the bullying and intimidation of those who have their own agenda. They did not follow the script and according to those who worship the moon in the dark hours, must be involved in a worldwide conspiracy.

It will be the new manager’s first game in charge therefore for me he has a blank canvas. I’m sure with a full house and a packed Ibrox the atmosphere will be second to none as always. I’m sure everyone in attendance will want to make sure the new manager is afforded a welcome from the supporters the likes of which he has never had before. This is match one and we see what vision Pedro has for the team and supporters. I feel going into too much detail over the team and performances or what could or may happen is speculation until we see what he has in mind. My score prediction will be 3-1 and Waghorn first goal scorer.

Apart from that I’m happy to see what happens. If nothing else this is going to be one heck of a ride. Can anyone honestly say that in their lifetime they expected to see a “Bullfighter” as manager of Rangers? That’s just brilliant. Not just any old bullfighter, a decorated one! “Defeat is the same as death” and “I’m not fighting the bull, the bull is fighting me” are great lines from Pedro. I suspect he could be one heck of a character. I wonder what the “auld yins” that I first went to the football with would make of it all? The younger generation perhaps don’t recognise the significance.

On that note another celebration next week is my nieces Birthday, she will be nine years old. So Happy Birthday Kayla -- let’s hope Pedro and the players put on a show worthy of a Birthday celebration for everyone!

C’mon eh Bears!

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