By Will Butcher
Peter Lovenkrands has predicted that Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha will cope easily with the intensity of an Old Firm derby ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Rangers face arch enemies Celtic at Hampden Park this weekend, as Caixinha takes charge in his first Old Firm showdown since being confirmed as Rangers manager back in March.
Lovenkrands, who failed to make the cut after holding talks to become the no.3 at Ibrox, is confident that Caixinha will manage the pressure in the heat of battle.
With a place in the Scottish Cup final up for stake, former Gers forward Lovenkrands told the Daily Record that nothing will faze Caixinha when going up against Brendan Rodgers’s side.
“I don’t think anything is going to faze him really. After speaking to him he knows what he wants and is focused on what he is looking for from the players and the club,” Lovenkrands said.
“He will be probably be more excited than anything. I expect he’ll be fine in his first derby but only time will tell because the Old Firm can get to anyone in the heat of the moment.”
The Gers have faced Celtic four times already this season, but are yet to claim victory. The Hoops have won three times, while interim boss Graeme Murty saw his side draw 1-1.
With the neutral ground of Hampden Park set to play host to the fierce battle between the two sides on Sunday, Rangers will be desperate to prevent Celtic from completing a treble.
The Hoops have already won the Scottish League Cup as well as the league title, but the Gers have the chance to prevent them from progressing to the Scottish Cup final.
Caixinha will be buoyed by his side’s form since taking over, which has seen four clean sheets in five games as well as triumphs over Aberdeen, Hamilton and most recently Partick.
With Celtic drawing against Partick and Ross County in their last three games, the Hoops could be guilty of taking their foot off the gas and Caixinha will be hoping his side can exploit that.
In other Rangers news, this midfield star will be sidelined for the next three months.