Pedro Caixinha has vowed to protect Rangers from fresh pain in the wake of last week’s Old Firm humiliation.
His hapless Gers were thrashed 5-1 on Saturday as Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Celtic ran up the Hoops’ biggest ever win at Ibrox.
Caixinha has already accepted his share of the blame after seeing his narrow midfield diamond ruthlessly exposed by Parkhead widemen Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts.
A period of intense soul searching has now begun inside the Light Blues’ camp, but Caixinha has promised to set the standards his side will require if they are to bounce back in the final four games of the campaign.
He told RangersTV: “As I said at the end of the game, when something like this happens I am the one who is guilty and who is responsible. I need to lead by example and I am here to protect and defend the club, and the players as well.
“Another thing is to expect a reaction, and to expect a strong reaction from the players. That is the reason I am telling them what my intentions are with regards to next season.
“Of course, my intention is also how to conclude the four matches we have to face, and face thinking about winning, between now and the end of the season.”
Reports have suggested Caixinha is now planning a clear-out of his first-team squad in a bid to prevent a repeat of this season’s campaign.
And the Portuguese coach claims he already knows the direction he wants to take the team next term.
“Today we had, in my opinion, our most important meeting with the players,” he said. “It regarded the present and the future, what it really means to defend this club and what it means to be here playing at this club.
“One of the things which brought us to the club at the end of a season was to be able to assess the players on a daily basis and up-close. We wanted to assess everything about the squad, the players and Scottish football in order for us to take decisions from this season into next season.
“We know what we want. The board have put their trust in to us to rebuild this massive club and bring it back to where it deserves to be.”
Meanwhile, Caixinha hopes to have skipper Lee Wallace back from stomach surgery after Sunday’s trip to Partick Thistle.
And on-loan midfielder Jon Toral also hopes to play a part before the season ends and he returns to parent club Arsenal.
The Spaniard has missed both of last month’s derby showdowns with Celtic with a rib injury and said: “It has been a couple of frustrating weeks with the results and not being able to take part.
“We don’t know exactly how long I’ll be out for, it’s bruising so it should settle down with time but being on the ribs it needs a bit of time. It is not easy to treat but the physios are doing their best.
“I hope I will play for Rangers again, that shouldn’t be a problem. I will do my best to make it for this weekend but I’ll have to wait and see how the injury progresses this week and see day by day where I am.”