Pedro Caixinha opened his account as new Glasgow Rangers manager with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hamilton at the weekend, with his winning team talk apparently encouraging his team to “play like they are kids”.
Whilst the win, which keeps ‘the Gers’ within sight of second placed Aberdeen, will have gone a small way to assuage any scepticism Rangers fans would have had, there is still some mystery as to who the new coach is.
Despite being linked with names such as Frank De Boer, Alex McLeish and Derek McInnes, Rangers appointed the relatively unknown Pedro Caixinha as their new manager.
Caixinha follows in the footsteps of, seemingly Nottingham Forest bound, Mark Warburton and the 46-year-old new boss has a massive job on his hands at Ibrox but who exactly is he? Let’s see what Rangers can expect.
Well, he’s Portuguese and was a goalkeeper in his playing days, but not a great one! He gave up playing to go into management while he was still in his twenties and took charge of youth sides in Portugal.
He then developed a good working relationship with José Peseiro and linked up with him to become his assistant over ten years, most notably, at Sporting CP and the Saudi Arabia national team.
His native Portugal was the destination for his first job as a number one as he took the reins at U.D. Leiria but this stint was only short, after finishing tenth in his first season, he resigned shortly into his second season due to monetary problems at the club.
But, Caixinha didn’t find himself out of management for long as he became C.D. Nacional boss in the Portuguese top flight and he oversaw the side finishing seventh place with them winning 10 of his 21 matches in charge.
However, a poor start to his second season saw Caixinha resign for the second time in his career but, yet again, he wasn’t out of management for long as he accepted an offer from Mexican club Santos Laguna.
Caixinha oversaw a successful period as he won three major trophies at Laguna in his two years.
He then managed former Gers winger Valdimir Weiss, who played for Rangers in the 2010-11 season, at Qatari club Al-Ghaarafa. He left them in 10th position as he set off to Ibrox.
Tactically, he is said to be keen on the use of a back four and his full back getting high and wide up the pitch, this is similar but how former Rangers manager Mark Warburton used his full backs.
However, the main difference between Warburton and Caixhina is when it comes to an overall team philosophy – Caixinha is flexible in his use of formations and systems and will use the shapes he sees best to win the match in front of them; compared to Warburton who would use the same system every match, be it Barcelona or Berwick.
Most Scottish pundits have labelled the appointment as a gamble from Rangers and it’s hard disagree with that. Although all managerial appointments have an element of risk with them, this one seems to carry more than others.
Not many people at Rangers had heard of Perdo Caixinha before his Rangers link it but was revealed that he used to work as scout for city rivals Celtic in 2009.
There has also been a video posted online of him congratulating Celtic on their title win two years ago, this has caused cheap jibes at his expensive from people, including BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton, trying to say he’s a Celtic fan.
Of course, this is just fun and games, but Caixinha got his first experience of the Old Firm and the Glasgow scene as he watched Rangers stop Celtic’s 22 league-match winning run with a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park.
He will get his own chance to face Celtic as they play each other in the Scottish Cup semi-final in April.
There’s so much work to be done at Rangers for Caixinha, and while there is still plenty to play for this season, the real work will begin in the summer transfer window as Caixinha looks to put his own stamp on the Rangers squad.