PEDRO MOUTINHO was not surprised Brendan Rodgers had not heard of Pedro Caixinha – because even people in his native Portugal will not be aware of Rangers’ new boss.
But Moutinho insists his countryman has what it takes to capture the attention of the whole of Scottish football following his appointment at Ibrox.
Caixinha is far from a household name in Portugal, having come through the ranks as a coach with assistant manager posts until stints as boss with unfashionable pair União Leiria and Nacional.
But it was away from Portugal and European football entirely – with Santos Laguna in Mexico and Al-Gharafa in Qatar – that the 46-year-old earned his spurs in the last few years.
Rodgers said he had ‘never heard of him’ when asked about Caixinha’s impending arrival at Ibrox.
But Moutinho reckons his compatriot has the skills needed to prove a success at Rangers.
The former Falkirk striker said: “I understand the point that Brendan Rodgers is making, because even the common fan in Portugal may not know him.
“If you ask my dad ‘who is Caixinha?’ he wouldn’t know.
“His first two jobs as a manager were at a young age after being an assistant and he achieved the targets of the clubs by staying in the Primeira Liga.
“Then he moved on to Mexico and he did well and he is exceeding expectations at the Qatari club.
“What he did in Portugal was some years ago now and it was an okay job, but he has done very well since he left.
“He was regarded as one of the bright young coaches coming through and people who I have spoken to who know him say he is a good guy, who works hard and is very knowledgeable about everything – the opposition and so on – and is well prepared.
“There are no reasons for me to say that he won’t be able to handle the expectations at Rangers, because he’s been to some big clubs in other countries.
“If you are well prepared and you have the desire to do well in your life, then I’m sure as a manager he will be ready for the challenge.”
Moutinho, back in Madeira in Portugal working as a football consultant, admits Caixinha represents a ‘gamble’ for Rangers, but no more than in any managerial appointment.
And he believes the former Sporting Lisbon and Saudi Arabia number two will not make the same mistakes as Paul Le Guen during the Frenchman’s ill-fated stint at Ibrox.
Moutinho added: “I would think what he has done so far in his career shows that the guy is adaptable.
“Looking back at Paul Le Guen when he went to Rangers, Le Guen was trying to change the club instead of trying to adapt.
“So, I think he will be smart on that and will adapt to Rangers.
“Everybody around football says he is sharp. He is a people person and there are a lot of positive things about him.”