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Canning doesn’t know what to expect

By March 15, 2017No Comments

Hamilton face a trip into something of the unknown when they take on Pedro Caixinha’s Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, according to Accies boss Martin Canning.

The Portuguese coach, 46, has taken over at the Govan club after signing a three-year contract and was in the Celtic Park stand on Sunday to see the Light Blues, guided by Under-20s coach Graeme Murty, battle to a 1-1 draw against their Old Firm rivals.

Caixinha, who has worked as a manager in Mexico with Santos Laguna and in Qatar with Al-Gharafa, gets his first chance to put his ideas into action against the Lanarkshire men, who are a point ahead of bottom side Inverness.

And Canning, whose side lost 6-0 at Ibrox in the William Hill Scottish Cup less than a fortnight ago, admits that makes preparations tricky.

He said: “It changes slightly in the fact that it is a little bit unknown, in terms of how he will set up.

“I’ve checked back with his previous clubs and seen how they have played but I would imagine that would be dependent on the players he feels he has got to play in the positions he wants them to play.

“So that is a little bit unknown.

“He will want to put his own stamp on it straight away. I don’t think he would feel the need to stick with what they have been doing.

“He might if he feels that is the best way to go about it but I think he will want to put his own stamp on it and do his own thing.

“That is a part of being the first team to play them when it is a new manager, you have to prepare as best you can but there is always that little question mark.”

Canning knows the Light Blues players and fans will be looking to help Caixinha get off to a good start.

However, he is hoping to see Hamilton turn in the same performance which got them a 1-1 draw with Rangers at Ibrox on the opening day of the season, when the Govan club celebrated their return to the top flight after a four-year absence.

He said: “The atmosphere in the stadium is going to be a little bit more intense than it would normally be.

“With the new guy coming in, the players will be desperate to impress and the fans will want to get behind the team.

“I will imagine it will be a very similar atmosphere to the opening day of the season when they were just up and it was a big day for them.

“We have to make sure we do our own job. The mind-set has to be the same as the first game.”