Rangers sack Pedro Caixinha after seven months in charge
Portuguese manager let go following 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock
Rangers have sacked manager Pedro Caixinha after seven months in charge. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Rangers are on the hunt for a new manager for the second time this year after Pedro Caixinha’s turbulent Ibrox tenure was unsurprisingly brought to an end on Thursday.
The previous evening’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock, in which Rangers conceded a 95th-minute equaliser, proved too much for the club’s board in the immediate aftermath of a weekend League Cup semi-final loss to Motherwell. During a short and hastily-arranged Rangers board meeting on Thursday, it was decided to sack the Portuguese coach.
“The decision to part company with Pedro was taken after careful consideration and the search for a new manager will begin immediately,” said Rangers in a statement. “Pedro was appointed in March this year but results have been disappointing and not commensurate with the level of investment that was made available.
“The priority is to appoint a new manager as quickly as possible, but the board will take as much time as is necessary to secure the right person capable of representing Rangers and providing the brand of football supporters rightly expect.”
Graeme Murty, who also performed the role of caretaker before Caixinha’s appointment, is expected to take charge of Rangers for Saturday’s meeting with Hearts at Murrayfield. Three of Caixinha’s coaches – Helder Baptista, Pedro Malta and Jose Belman – have also left Ibrox. Prior to arrival in Glasgow from Qatar to succeed Mark Warburton, Caixinha had failed to hold down any coaching position for a concerted length of time.
Caixinha won 14 from 26 games in charge, which represents an ominous ratio for any Rangers manager. The 46-year-old also presided over humiliations; Celtic cantered to a 5-1 win at Ibrox in April, with Rangers bundled out of Europe by Progres Niederkorn, of Luxembourg, to start this season.
Nonetheless, Caixinha was given relatively substantial sums in attempting to close the gap between Rangers and Celtic. Despite the arrivals of Bruno Alves, Graham Dorrans and others, Caixinha exits with Rangers fourth in the Scottish top flight and eight points adrift of Celtic after just 10 games.
There was also a recent and curious stand-off between Caixinha and one of his most senior players, Kenny Miller. The manager informed Miller, Lee Wallace and Niko Kranjcar not to even attend the Kilmarnock fixture when not part of the first-team squad.
Murty will have support in some quarters in respect of taking the position full-time. However – and notwithstanding financial pressures – a more experienced manager is more likely. Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes, St Johnstone’s Tommy Wright, the Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill plus Alex McLeish, who managed Rangers between 2001 and 2006, have all been quoted as early candidates.