Rangers respond after being given freedom to enjoy themselves by Pedro Caixinha

New Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha tells players to perform with freedom of kids
New Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha tells players to perform with freedom of kids

Pedro Caixinha told his players to perform with the freedom of kids before his tenure as Rangers boss began with a 4-0 win over Hamilton at Ibrox.

The Portuguese coach was given a “fantastic” reception by the home fans when he emerged from the tunnel before his first Ladbrokes Premiership game.

And his plea to his players to play with the enjoyment of youngsters was taken on board as they coasted to victory.

Goals from midfielder Emerson Hyndman and veteran defender Clint Hill had the Light Blues 2-0 up at the interval and a Martyn Waghorn penalty and a strike from captain Lee Wallace after the break kept the Govan side eight points behind second-placed Aberdeen.

Caixinha said: “It was my first statement to the players today – I want you to enjoy.

“If you are here and anxious to do things, they are not going to work.

“I want you to be happy, I want you to enjoy.

“I want our team to play like they are kids. Kids love to play football.

“All the professionals start as kids dreaming one day to be in this position, now they are in this position they need to enjoy it the same.

“They did that and I am very pleased. I am very happy. ”

Having only started working with the players at the start of the week following Rangers’ encouraging 1-1 draw with runaway leaders Celtic at Parkhead, Caixinha was pleased with the response although he conceded there was much still to do.

“We have had just four days to work,” he said.

“But I need to be happy with the attitude, the pace, the quality of work as a team and of course I need to be happy to start with a win because if you want a winning culture and a winning mentality the first step is always important.

“We still have a lot of work in front of us, still have a lot of things to keep working on.

“But I am very happy with the work the players did today on the pitch.”

Accies, who also lost 6-0 at Ibrox in the William Hill Scottish Cup two weeks ago, dropped to the bottom of the table on goal difference behind Inverness, who drew 1-1 with Ross County in the Highland derby.

After playing the top four clubs in recent weeks, boss Martin Canning hopes an easing of the fixture list can see his side recover.

Hamilton lost away to Celtic, Hearts and Rangers and amid that sequence beat Aberdeen at the SuperSeal stadium.

However, now he is looking to get back on track, albeit the next game after the international break is against St Johnstone, who moved above Hearts into fourth place with a 2-1 win at Motherwell.

Canning said: “It is never nice when you are bottom of the league.

“But to play the top four teams is a real difficult run of fixtures.

“Now we have nine games against teams who are all going to be on a par with us and who we can go and beat.

“We need to dust ourselves down and go again. It is going to be a big nine games and all games I believe we can go and win.”