Ally McCoist offers his verdict on Pedro Caixinha's start as Rangers manager

Rangers manager Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist has hailed Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha's impact at Ibrox.

Rangers manager Ally McCoistFormer Rangers manager Ally McCoist

Ex-Rangers manager Ally McCoist has told the Daily Record that he has been impressed with Pedro Caixinha's start to life as Ibrox boss.

The Gers saw Mark Warburton leave Ibrox in February, and after Graeme Murty served as the club's caretaker manager, Rangers swooped to land Caixinha from Al-Gharafa last month.

Previously an unknown, Caixinha has been thrust in as Rangers boss now rather than waiting until the end of the season, and it's fair to say that the Portuguese manager has shown promise so far.

In his five games in charge, Rangers have yet to lose, winning three and drawing two of those games, whilst Caixinha has seen his side concede just one goal, notching four clean sheets.

Those are impressive numbers for Caixinha, and the 3-0 win at Aberdeen will give Rangers fans confidence heading into Caixinha's first Old Firm derby against Celtic this weekend.

The two sides meet in the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park – the same stage where Rangers stunned Celtic last year – and Caixinha faces a tough task against a Celtic side who have yet to lose a domestic game this season.

Ahead of that game this weekend, former Rangers boss Ally McCoist has told the Daily Record that he thinks the Gers are in a better position than they have been for some time with Caixinha at the helm, nothing that they have improved under his leadership.

McCoist did note that Celtic are still the hot favourites for a win, but doesn't think it's quite as clear-cut as it would have been around a month ago, such has been Caixinha's impact on the Rangers side.

New Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha during the press conferenceRangers boss Pedro Caixinha

“I think Rangers are in a better position now than they have been for a wee while,” said McCoist. “They are still a considerable bit behind Celtic. They are the best team in the country by a mile. That said, I think Rangers have shown enough improvement in the last few weeks to indicate that they'll make a game of it. I think the Rangers supporters will have a lot more hope and belief than they had a few months ago. Not even the die hard Rangers fans would have been looking forward to it then, but there's a belief and a bit of hope now.”

“The Rangers supporters will see the improvement in their team and sometimes in Old Firm games the favourites don't always win. Rangers will be motivated by the new manager. The players look as though they are taking to his methods and got a tremendous result up at Aberdeen the other week. Obviously scoring late on in the draw at Parkhead has given everybody at Rangers a boost as well.”

“Celtic will start as favourites, but I don't think they are as clear-cut favourites as they would have been four or five weeks ago. The motivation for Celtic is there for everyone to see. They are going for a treble and nobody has come near them this season. But I've been involved in enough Old Firm games to know that absolutely anything can happen,” he added.

What is your prediction for Celtic v Rangers?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch