Rangers V Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium : Match Preview

11 August 2017 07:34
Hibs cup final defeat not a source of motivation for Rangers boss Caixinha

Rangers' dramatic William Hill Scottish Cup final defeat to Hibernian will not be used as motivation by Gers boss Pedro Caixinha for Saturday's clash at Ibrox.

The clubs have not met since May 21, 2016, when a David Gray header in stoppage time gave Hibs a historic 3-2 victory which preceded a pitch invasion resulting in numerous arrests.

Ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership game against Neil Lennon's newly promoted side, Caixinha, who took over from former Light Blues manager Mark Warburton in March, was asked if the final would be used to fire up his side.

"No," said the Portuguese boss, who revealed captain Lee Wallace will have a scan on a leg injury which led to Lee Hodson taking over before the 6-0 Betfred Cup final win over Dunfermline at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

"Football is a moment, there are no two games played the same way.

"The contest is different, what was to be fought for is totally different, so we just want to focus on the three points that we want to take, that's all.

"My concern is to prepare the team, recover the players and make them ready for a strong start at 3pm on Saturday."

Caixinha was pleased by the way his side performed against Dunfermline to set up a quarter-final clash with Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Portugal defender Bruno Alves' wonderful free-kick from 25 yards, after Kenny Miller had given the home side an early lead, brought Ibrox to its feet.

The 35-year-old, who signed a two-year deal from Cagliari in May, was glad to get a chance to polish his dead-ball skills, usually denied to him with Portugal by Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Yes, he doesn't give so many chances but he is the best, he shows us that he can score very well," said Alves with a smile.

"It is one of his specialities, he has so many good skills it is just one more and we are learning every day with him when we are together."

Meanwhile, Neil Lennon will "thrive" on the hot reception he is sure to get at Ibrox.

The last time Lennon was in the Govan as Celtic boss in 2012 he watched from the media room having been banned from the dugout for the second half by the referee Calum Murray.

Speaking at Hibs' training ground the Northern Irishman was asked about how he might be greeted by the Gers fans.

He said: "I wouldn't say welcoming no, but it will be loud I imagine. I expect just the usual.

"I thrive on that sort of thing and I want my players to do that as well

"You wouldn't be a human being if you could just bat it off all the time.

"There are some difficult things you have to listen to, regarding your heritage, your family or your background.

"You don't ever get used to it, but you can draw some strength from it."

The former Celtic midfielder admits he can finds some humour in some of the barbs he hears.

He said: "The majority of time you can blank it out or laugh it off.

"You have to find some humour. If you don't have a sense of humour there is no point in being in it.

"Some of the comments are quite funny.

"We live in a world of social media where people make scathing remarks that are way beyond the pale but a lot are laced with a lot of humour and I find that funny.

"You have to laugh at yourself at times, you can't take yourself too seriously.

"I have a lot of good memories playing and managing there.

"It is a great venue, it is a great amphitheatre of football, a great atmosphere and you sink or swim.

"And I like to think most of the time I swam through it."

Midfielder Marvin Bartley and attacker Martin Boyle are doubts for the clash.

Both players are carrying knocks and will be assessed.

Striker Brian Graham has moved to Cheltenham on a two-year deal.

Source: PAR