Caixinha: It was vital one Rangers in particular performed against Dundee
By James Black
Pedro Caixinha is convinced Carlos Pena will get a huge confidence boost after opening his Rangers account in their 4-1 triumph against Dundee on Saturday.
Pena, who joined Rangers for £2.2million from Chivas Guadalajara this summer, has been restricted to substitute appearances after struggling with his fitness.
After coming on as a second-half substitute for Kenny Miller, Pena scored with seven minutes remaining to put Rangers 3-0 ahead and showed some flashes of quality that gave fans an idea of why Caixinha splashed out on him.
The manager explained why it was more important that central midfielder Pena scored than his colleague Alfredo Morelos and Josh Windass.
“As important as it was for Josh Windass to score it was also the first goal from Carlos Pena,” Caixinha told RangersTV, as quoted by the club’s website.
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“Josh was already here, he is a British player and he knows about the game here, Carlos is just learning.
“It was very important for them in the same way it was important for Herrera. Today we hoped we could give him the minutes as he deserves and we managed that.”
Fans have been sceptical over the signing of Pena given his lack of minutes and obvious fitness problems but yesterday’s performance was the first real glimpse of his ability as he looked much more like the player fans were told he was.
Pena could make his long-awaited first start in the league and cup double header with Partick Thistle at Firhill before Celtic visit Ibrox in the first Old Firm clash of the season on September 23rd.
The 27-year-old has 19 caps for Mexico and represented El Tri at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.