BY all accounts Aberdeen were fired up on Wednesday night as they won at Ibrox for the first time since 1991 and I don’t doubt that Pedro Caixinha’s pre-match comments had a big part to play in that. The Rangers manager is still easing his way into Scottish football but his remarks about Ryan Jack and the rest of the Aberdeen team in general didn’t sit right with me.

The whole charade obviously didn’t sit right with Derek McInnes either, judging by the strength of his reply. He and his players delivered the best possible response by racking up a famous win that further underlined the fact that it is Aberdeen and not Rangers who are the second-best side in the country at this moment in time.

McInnes is normally very measured in everything he says. He’s very thoughtful and careful with his words. So it was unusual to see him get so riled as he took Caixinha to task for his comments. There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t talk about another club in that fashion. It’s disrespectful and not the done thing in this country. And it backfired on Caixinha the other night in the worst possible way.

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He has only been in the country for two minutes while McInnes has been a manager and player here for 20 years. He’s worked incredibly hard over the last four years to get Aberdeen to where they are; second in the league again and in both cup finals. So he’s got every right to have a pop back at Caixinha for his comments.

And you have to say – Rangers were in a better state under Mark Warburton than they are under Caixinha. Warburton was definitely one-dimensional and thin-skinned but he had an absolute clear idea of the identity he wanted for his team. Under Caixinha it still seems very disjointed. I’m not going to judge him until he gets his own players in. But I think he’s too outspoken, too soon. If I were him I’d be holding my cards closer to my chest rather than showing your hand to the world.

He’s made this big public show about tactics and he’s tried to outsmart people with certain phrases. That’s all well and good but what he is going to learn very quickly at Ibrox is that nothing matters apart from results and trophies. And if you don’t bring both, as Warburton found out, you’ll be away. You won’t last long in the job. With the opening that Caixinha has had, if he doesn’t get off to a strong start next season – a decent run in Europe and staying within touching distance of Celtic – then he will soon be a man under pressure.

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ABERDEEN weren’t the only side to record a big victory on Wednesday night. Inverness have given themselves an unlikely lifeline by winning at Dens Park and now have to hope for the series of results that will keep them up tomorrow and send Hamilton down automatically instead. To be honest, however, finishing second bottom might not be enough to survive either.

I was at the first leg of the Championship play-off decider between Dundee United and Falkirk on Tuesday night and it was a cracking match with four goals of the highest quality. The return game this evening should be just as good and whoever makes it through will fancy their chances against either Hamilton or Caley Thistle over two legs. Either United or Falkirk would be an asset to the Premiership and both will be determined to win promotion; United because of the possible consequences of not going straight back up with the parachute payment halved in the second year, and Falkirk because they have been so close over the last few seasons only to fall just short each time.

As things stand the winner of tonight’s game will take on Accies in the play-off final. They arguably put in their best performance of the season in Dingwall the other night, playing some brilliant attacking football, scoring twice and hitting the post several times. But they still lost the match and that sums up their season. They can’t use bad luck the other night as an excuse for being in this position, however, as they’ve only won one away game all season, drawn 14 and have scored the fewest amount of goals in the division. If they end up either relegated or even in the play-off spot, it will be because they haven’t been good enough over the course of the season.

Inverness have been similarly poor but are somehow hanging in there. They are at home to Motherwell, while Hamilton are at home to Dundee so the picture could yet alter again tomorrow. It ought to be a nervy and exciting conclusion to the season at the bottom of the table.