Rangers Need To Keep Positive Run Going In Betfred Cup

Rangers seem to have found a bit of consistency under Pedro Caixinha and they’ll be desperate to keep that run going against Motherwell on Sunday as they meet at Hampden with a place in the Betfred Cup final at stake.

In their last seven outings the Light Blues have won five, drawn one and lost to Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Pedro’s men recored a fantastic 3-0 away victory at St Johnstone on Friday the thirteenth and that result saw the Gers move up to third place in the Scottish Premiership. No other side in Scotland’s top flight has recorded a league win in Perth so far this term.

Caixinha has stated that the performance against the Saints was the best Rangers have had since his arrival at the club in March:

“I think it was the best collective performance since we arrived.”

“We were very compact, very addicted to the game plan. Quality and keeping possession, attacking spaces when it was needed – and fighting collectively and defensively.”

I have said for a while now that Caixinha and his team needed to find a winning mentality and a consistent run if they are going to challenge for trophies this season and make inroads in the league as they try to chase down Celtic and Aberdeen.

It looks like they might be finally getting there.

The Gers team are attacking with much more menace. They clearly enjoy having possession and now have more about them to cut teams open.

In Alfredo Morelos and Carlos Pena, they have very dangerous players when the ball gets played into the box.

It helps having a winger in the form of Daniel Candeias who creates chances and has an eye for a good cross.

The defence certainly looks better when experienced veteran Bruno Alves is in the heart of it. He has an impact and leads from the back.

Another leader in the team is new midfielder Graham Dorrans, who clearly has huge affection for the Ibrox club. He’s good at keeping the ball, getting forward and helping those around him by being ready to receive the ball.

I’ve been critical of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham in the past. He’s always been a good shot-stopper but he struggled to instil confidence, especially when trying to command his penalty area. But I think he has grown in stature this season and looks more capable in all parts of his game.

Pedro himself has been more impressive in recent weeks.

The Portuguese boss seems to have taken on elder club statesman Kenny Miller in a row to win the dressing room and it seems as though Caixinha has now clearly stamped his authority on the squad. Miller coming back into first team training also shows that the boss doesn’t hold grudges. Pedro’s handling of the situation has been far superior to the way Mark Warburton handled Joey Barton last term and the football club as a whole has benefitted from it.

Pedro Caixinha also has a habit of stoking the fires between himself and rival managers. His attempts of mind-games have came back to haunt him against Neil Lennon’s Hibs and Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen side. But he managed to get the upper-hand on St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright and that should give the Gers gaffer confidence that things are turning in his favour against rival sides.

It’s now important for Rangers to keep their positive run going.

Next up is a tough encounter against a highly impressive Motherwell side.

Well manager Stephen Robinson has guided his team to fourth spot in the Scottish Premiership and they’re just one point behind Rangers in the table.

Motherwell’s record in their last seven games is identical to the Gers (with five wins, one draw and a single defeat). To get to this semi-final they spanked Aberdeen 3-0 at Fir Park. That has so far been the Don’s only loss in domestic football this term. 

In Louis Moult they too have a prolific and gifted forward. Like Rangers, Well have conceded juts eleven times in their opening nine league games.

They have two terrific young Scottish talents in Chris Cadden and Allan Campbell. Both have impressed this season and that’s always great to see.

The game on Sunday could be a thriller. Both teams will arrive at Hampden full of confidence and with the belief that they can get the victory that will get them to the Bettered Cup final.

For Rangers and Pedro, they are expected to see the job through and they need to meet that challenge head on and secure another triumph. Wins breed the best feeling at football clubs and Rangers need to prove that they are in the habit and want silverware this season!

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