Perhaps Pedro Caixinha should take some inspiration from his friend and compatriot Jose Mourinho.
The Manchester United manager was hounded by the press, and no shortage of supporters, for omitting Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the majority of last season’s opening fixtures. Some even thought the famously ruthless Mourinho had already decided that the Armenian, a big money signing from Borussia Dortmund, was not cut out for United.
However, Mourinho was merely biding his time and allowing Mkhitaryan to adapt to life in England at his own pace rather than struggle on the pitch in front of the watching millions. It’s a tactic he is using once more with former Benfica defender Victor Lindelof.
And Caixinha should take a leaf out of his book. Portuguese centre-back Fabio Cardoso has endured a difficult couple of weeks with his new employers, struggling against Conor Salmon against Partick Thistle before being ran ragged in the most recent encounter versus Hamilton Academical.
Fortunately, with Danny Wilson and David Bates passed fit ahead of Friday’s clash with St Johnstone, Caixinha has the chance to shuffle his pack and take the under-pressure defender out of the firing line.
Cardoso, a £1.3 million signing from Vitoria Setubal according to the Daily Record, has the youth and potential to come good eventually. But bigger, better and more reputable players have struggled to adapt immediately to a new league in the past and Rangers fans should remain patient.
Yet, a spell out of the starting XI may prove beneficial to Cardoso – it certainly worked for Mkhitaryan.