SAYS ROSS McCRORIE
THE Pedro Caixinha era may not be remembered fondly by everyone of a light blue persuasion, but there is at least one man at Rangers who will always be thankful to the Portuguese coach for giving him his chance.
Young defender Ross McCrorie was brought on for his debut in place of the injured Bruno Alves as Caixinha’s side eked out a win against Partick Thistle in September, before being thrust into the Old Firm derby for his first start just four days later.
He has since established himself in the side, and even kept Alves on the bench for Rangers’ last match, as he found the net for the first time in another win over Thistle.
Knowing the realities of life at a club like Rangers, McCrorie is philosophical about Caixinha’s sacking, but he is keen to stress the debt he feels he owes his former boss as he looks to the future under whoever the new permanent Ibrox manager may be.
“I’m thankful he gave me the chance and I’ll never forget it,” McCrorie said.
“He gave me that building block to build on and hopefully I can push on.
“I’ve not text him, but if I see him again I’ll say thanks. I was grateful for what he did.
“I never got to see him. I had my two loan spells at Ayr United and Dumbarton and they helped me a lot. When I came back to Rangers, that’s what made me better.
“Then Pedro gave me the chance and gave me that extra boost and that helped a lot.
“Managers tend to go in
football. He worked really hard and tried his best, but managers come and go if results aren’t going [well].”
Caixinha gained a reputation for one or two outlandish comments in his time in Scotland, but on the evidence of McCrorie’s blossoming Rangers career, who is to say that one of his eyebrow-raising statements may not ultimately be proven rather shrewd?
The former Rangers manager predicted that his 19-year-old centre back would go on to be one of the best centre-backs in the history of both his club and his country, and McCrorie was grateful for the vote of confidence.
“It was great to hear what he said about me,” said McCrorie. “It gave you extra confidence and a boost.
“I had the Old Firm on the Saturday. For him to say that was great.”
THE fact his former coach at under-20 level, Graeme Murty, took over the reins temporarily at least, has probably not hurt McCrorie’s cause as he kept his place in the Rangers side after Caixinha exited the scene.
But there is little argument over whether or not he merits the jersey in any case, such has been his level of performance, and he is hoping to give his new boss a similar headache when he comes in.
Despite Alves’s pedigree in the game, McCrorie revealed that the Portuguese Euro 2016 winner has shown no sour grapes towards the youngster since being kept on the bench against Thistle.
“We’ll wait and see what happens when I go back if I am still playing or not,” he said.
“It was great for Murts to trust me and Danny [Wilson] to play. Bruno is a great player as well and he can come in at any time too.
“Before the game he was speaking to me and talking me through different scenarios in the game. He was just saying good luck and all the best. It’s a great dressing room and they all look out for each other.
“If we can help each other, it helps the team.
“They all chip in to be honest. Before the Old Firm, [Kenny Miller] sat me down
I’ve not text him yet, but if I see him again I’ll say thanks. I’m grateful