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Rangers have been going along just fine under caretaker boss Graeme Murty since the sacking of Pedro Caixinha, with a 3-1 win at Hearts and a 3-0 win against Partick reading much better than their recent form.
Murty may yet be given the chance to take on the role permanently, though Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes remains the favourite ahead of ex-Newcastle managers Steve McClaren and Alan Pardew. Whoever takes over though will obviously have their own ideas of what the best XI at this club would be, though regardless of that, there are some players who were very much loyal to the Portuguese coach.
No doubt that certain players would have been in touch with the ousted coach and may feel aggrieved at the way he was treated. Here are three players who may well fall into that category:
So long as Caixinha was in charge, Alves looked to be a real influence on the team and his individual performances were fine. There’s little doubt though that he is in Caxinha’s corner and will most likely be at odds with some of his club mates over the manager’s departure, particularly Kenny Miller et al.
He formed a good partnership at the back with countryman Fabio Cardoso but that may be a thing of the past already, especially if it is Murty who retains the job.
The all-Portuguese central defensive partnership was working well in a pure football sense. However, now that we know there were rumblings of discontent the whole time, it’s likely to be looked back on as a flash in the pan.
Cardoso was very much one of Caixinha’s people and so he may be set to miss out too, with the young Ross McCrorie doing really well of late under Murty, in his partnership with Danny Wilson. We also mustn’t forget how well David Bates did when he played towards the back end of last season.
Although Daniel Candeias looks to have survived Caixinha’s exit, the other three Portuguese players brought in by the former boss look set to be frozen out in the long-term and that includes the 21-year-old midfielder.
The strength of Graham Dorrans and Ryan Jack in the midfield allied with former regular Jason Holt has meant that there has been little need for the on-loan Dalcio so far. Sadly, this may continue to be the case, and his return to Benfica may not be greeted with sadness at all.