QUESTIONING whether a manager is the right man for a club following a game his side has, despite failing to win, dominated completely for 90 minutes seems highly unfair.
The 0-0 draw his team was held to at Ibrox by Hearts in a Ladbrokes Premiership game on Saturday has inevitably led to further murmurings about his suitability for the role.
The latest disappointing result he has overseen has left the Glasgow club five points behind their city rivals Celtic after just three games.
Perhaps more importantly, they are already that distance behind Aberdeen and St. Johnstone, clubs who will be challenging strongly for second spot once again this term, in the table.
Should Rangers fail to overcome Ross County – opponents who held them to draws in all three of their meetings in the top flight last season – at the Global Energy Stadium this Sunday then the unrest among the support will grow.
Should they slump to their third defeat in seven matches up in the Highlands there will be some vocal calls for Caixinha to be replaced.
Dispensing with the Portuguese’s services after just four games of a new league season, would be, even in the increasingly ephemeral world of professional football, harsh in the extreme.
But there are past misdemeanours which must also be taken into account; the defeats to Celtic, unconvincing finish to last term and the Europa League loss to part-time Luxembourgian outfit Progres Niederkorn last month have not been forgotten.
Regardless of the the rights and wrongs of his predicament, Rangers desperately need a win, and a convincing one at that, against County to relieve the growing pressure on their manager.
To do so, Caixinha’s side will have to be far more clinical up front than they were in the both defeat to Hibs nine days ago and the subsequent draw with Hearts.
His charges controlled the meeting with Jon Daly’s team and created four outstanding scoring opportunities in the first half. Only the interventions of the excellent Christophe Berra, Jack Hamilton, Michael Smith and John Souttar prevented them from taking what would have been a deserved lead.
Berra, who will be named in the Scotland squad for the Russia 2018 qualifiers against Lithuania and Malta this afternoon, dispossessed Kenny Miller in his penalty box with a perfectly-timed tackle just as the striker was poised to unleash a shot early on.
Souttar then denied Josh Windass with an almost identical challenge after the midfielder had been sent clean through on goal with a defence-splitting pass from Graham Dorrans on the half hour mark.
Bruno Alves rose well to meet a Daniel Candeias corner shortly after that and his powerful header was destined for the top right corner until Smith cleared it off the goal line.
And goalkeeper Hamilton kept the visitors level just before half-time when his outstretched leg denied a disbelieving Miller the opener.
Hearts continued to defend for their lives in the second 45 minutes and substitute Krystian Nowak diverted goal-bound attempts from first substitute Ryan Hardie and then Alves wide of his goal.
In response, the capital club offered precious little. Souttar struck the underside of the crossbar with an outrageous long-range shot in the first half and Kyle Lafferty should have done far better at a Don Cowie free-kick with three minutes of regulation time remaining.
It would have been an injustice if the Tynecastle outfit had prevailed given how negatively they had approached the game. But they certainly earned their point given how resolutely they defended.
Many of Caixinha’s summer signings acquitted themselves well – Alves was assured, Candeias was a box of tricks, Dorrans showed his quality and Alfredo Morelos was a handful.
But the boos which rang out as Willie Collum blew his final whistle will have driven home to them the expectations which there are on them domestically at their new club. Only outright victory will suffice.
Daly, the former Rangers striker, suggested he has a fine career in the dugout ahead of him at the weekend. His charges were well-organised and executed his sensible game plan to perfection. But it remains to be seen if it will secure the caretaker manager the position on a full-time basis.
The Hearts hierarchy, who have spoken to Billy Davies about succeeding Ian Cathro, may prefer a more experienced candidate to take over regardless of how the Irishman fares.
Source : HeraldScotland