Rangers: Pedro Caixinha delighted with training ahead of St Johnstone match

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha
Pedro Caixinha's side are third in the Premiership, four points adrift of Aberdeen and Celtic

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha insists his side will be ready for their trip to St Johnstone on Friday after an "intense" week of training.

The Portuguese revealed last week that he was using the international break to work on his side's defence.

"The whole week was great. We took advantage and worked on a lot of aspects, and worked at a high pace," Caixinha told the club website.

"So it was an intense week and we knew it was the moment for us to do that."

Rangers went into the international break on the back of a 4-1 win at Hamilton Academical.

Caixinha's side, who are level on 14 points with St Johnstone ahead of the sides' Premiership meeting, faced Morton on Saturday in a friendly match split up into three periods rather than two halves.

Daniel Candeias scores
Daniel Candeias was on target as Rangers won 4-1 at Hamilton

"That is why we played the game with three periods of 35-minutes - giving 35 minutes to the players who have had more game-time and then giving a chance to those who have not played that much, as well as giving a chance to some young boys too," the manager added.

"So overall, it was a really good week and we are starting this week on a totally different level as we prepare for the next match.

"I think Morton play in a similar way to St Johnstone, with more or less the same philosophy, so it was good to put in practice some of those things."

Caixinha went with a teenage back line in the last period against Morton - Andy Dallas, Kyle McLelland, Lewis Mayo and Scott Gray - and was encouraged by what he saw.

"So they did very well, and in that period of time, we only conceded the one goal from a direct free-kick," he added.

"I liked overall the three groups. They were three different groups, with a different formation in each of the periods. It was also a moment for us to try something and also for us to give minutes to the players who have not being playing."

Meanwhile, Rangers will play Brazilian opposition in Florida during the Premiership's winter break.

Caixinha's team meet Atletico Mineiro in Orlando on 11 January and Corinthians at the same venue two days later.

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