Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha turns focus to next weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-final

Boss Pedro Caixinha turned his attention to cup success following Rangers’ 3-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at St Johnstone on Friday night.

A double from Mexican attacker Carlos Pena and a late strike by midfielder Graham Dorrans gave the Light Blues three hard-earned points against a Saints side who had captain Steven Anderson dismissed at 1-0 in the second-half for picking up the second of two yellow cards.

The Portuguese coach described the Ibrox side’s performance as collectively the best since he took over in March.

Caixinha now looks to take the next step towards his first piece of silverware as Gers manager in next Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Motherwell at Hampden Park and he is aware of the game’s significance.

He said: “It is the biggest game of the season because it’s a knock-out. I said this from the beginning when we played Dunfermline, this is going to be the most important game of the season.

“It was the same against Partick (in previous round), because if you lose you are out. You have no chance to go forward if you make a mistake.

“So next weekend is definitely the most important, with a place in the final at stake. That’s our focus. We know we need to keep working hard.

“The boys are understanding the process more, getting a better confidence and trust in the process. This is what we really want. From here, we need to go even higher.”

Defender Fabio Cardoso declared himself happy for the whole Rangers team following their victory in Perth.

“It is a very good win, a very important one, it is three points away and it is a clean sheet,” he told RangersTV.

“We are improving and we still need to improve more, we are going to do that in all games and as a team starting with Friday night.

“We deserved to win and of course I am happy for Pena but I am happy for Dorrans, I am happy for Wes (Foderingham) and I am happy for me – I am happy for us all.”

The 23-year-old former Vitoria Seubal player is looking forward to making his first trip to the national stadium next week.

He said: “Next weekend is going to be an important game because it is the next and because it is a semi-final and we want to be in the final and to win.

“Now we are going rest, keep training and improving all day together and do our best to win the game.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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