Injury problems easing at Rangers

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Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha is relieved to see his Ibrox injury crisis take a turn for the better.

The Portuguese has confirmed Danny Wilson and Niko Kranjcar have shaken off calf and knee problems respectively to declare themselves fit for Friday night’s clash at St Johnstone.

Defender David Bates is also fit again while Jordan Rossiter could return to training next week too.

That would leave Caixinha looking at skipper Lee Wallace as his only absentee, with the left-back facing another six weeks out with groin trouble.

Caixinha told RangersTV: “Maybe next week, Jordan can start training with the team. Niko and Danny started the previous week and will be with us again this week.

“I think David Bates too can join us on Thursday, so that means that the squad is getting completed again and we can have more options.

“All the boys who have been options in the last games have been doing great, doing what we want, and we are happy to have everyone on board so we have much more competitiveness which gives us more doubts in terms of the selection of the players. That is great for us.”

However, Caixinha admits he may have to handle Bruno Alves and his defensive understudy Ross McCrorie carefully as they arrive back late from international action with Portugal and Scotland Under-21s respectively.

“It’s going to be a short week as we play on Friday, so the players who will play on Tuesday like Bruno, and we hope he plays against Switzerland, will only have three days to recover,” he explained.

“The same will happen with Ross who is playing in Latvia.

“This is the reality, and we need to organise things in that way. The boys who are here are doing a great job and the only thing we are thinking about at the moment is getting three more points on Friday.”

Caixinha has happy memories of his previous trip to McDiarmid Park after the Light Blues rounded off last season with a 2-1 win over Tommy Wright’s Saints.

But he expects this week’s encounter to be a testing one for his side.

He said: “It is going to be a huge challenge, and we have the idea from the last game of last season, and I think we need to do more of the same.

“When I say that, I mean we need to play more our way than letting the opponent play their way. They are very strong and if we let them play the game, the ball will be in the surroundings of our box all of the time, they will be winning second balls, they will be fighting, they will be close to the last-third and we will have problems with that.

“We have a strategy to take the ball and play our own game, otherwise we will have some difficulties.”

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