PERPLEXED Pedro Caixinha accused his Rangers players of showing Celtic too much respect as they flopped 2-0 in the Scottish Cup semi-final showdown yesterday.
The Ibrox side failed to repeat last season’s penalty-kick shoot-out success over the Parkhead side, collapsing to their fourth defeat of the season against Brendan Rodgers’ outfit.
The Portuguese coach admitted assistant Helder Baptista had warned him of tension in the squad during the warm-up at Hampden,
Caixinha said: “I think we respected them too much in the first-half.
“By respecting the opponent, we dropped off too much on the park.
“We did not play the way that we had been preparing throughout the week.
“We knew that Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong were the guys who can create all the imbalances.
“When you add the early goal we conceded, it was difficult for us to find a way to have the ball or to have a counter-attack.
“At half time, we tried to change it. We changed two players and we changed Kenny Miller, in order for him to contain Scott Brown.
‘We were good in the first four minutes of the second-half until the penalty.
“But the penalty changed things for the next 10 minutes. At that moment, Celtic were definitely having the momentum.
“The second-half was more like the way that we wanted to perform, but Celtic deserved to win.
‘We could and should have done much better. We were expecting more from our team, definitely.
“But the way that we prepared for the game and the way that we performed were completely different.”