10 Apr Pedro’s perfect game plan
Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha hailed his players for effectively carrying out their game plan after they scored three late goals to upset Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
The Light Blues had to resist plenty of second-half pressure from the hosts, who tested goalkeeper Wes Foderingham on several occasions.
However, Caixinha’s men stood firm and eventually went on to claim a 3-0 victory at Pittodrie thanks to Kenny Miller’s double and a Joe Dodoo goal, all in a five-minute spell.
Caixinha said: “I can describe the game with two words – organisation and sacrifice.
“I think the team understood perfectly well the opponents that they were facing and what they needed to do throughout the match.
“When it was needed to suffer, the team knew when to suffer especially in the first 15 or 20 minutes in the second half.
“We needed to make decisions at that moment because Aberdeen were taking risks and exposing their two full-backs and we knew the time to exploit the space they were conceding.
“I am glad the game went and finished how it did.”
The victory revives Rangers’ hopes of catching the Dons in second spot, with the gap narrowed to nine points going into the remaining five matches.
Caxinha, who had described the match as a must-win for his team, added: “We knew we had still two more games against Aberdeen.
“We have now won the first one but if we don’t continue winning before the next game then maybe things will be different.
“That is what we need to do, keep winning and then beat them again but our focus is always on our next match and now we will have to look right away at our next opponent on Saturday.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes felt his players had a hand in their own downfall, although he felt the outcome was harsh.
The Dons, chasing an 11th straight home win, were on top in the second period until Rangers broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 79th minute.
McInnes said: “There were no signs of that.
“I thought we started the game better and although the latter part of the first half was a bit untidy, we looked comfortable throughout.
“But I wanted more from us in an attacking sense and I thought we produced that and were in complete charge of the game.
“Usually after around 70 minutes, you contemplate changes but I did not feel there was any real need because we were in control.
“But we need to concentrate against good players and that should be there for the full 90 minutes.”
McInnes added: “We lost a very poor goal, which can happen, but it was the response to losing that goal which was more disappointing because there was still plenty of time in the game to get back into it.
“We allowed a crazy four or five minutes to ultimately lose the game.”