PEDRO Caixinha has revealed Carlos Pena still needs “a little more time” before he is ready to make a regular contribution to the Rangers team. The Mexican is one of nine new summer signings but didn’t feature in the Europa League loss to Progres Niederkorn and then only fleetingly in the home friendly against Marseille.

With Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans the two likely starters in the central midfield area in Caixinha’s preferred 4-4-2 set-up, Pena may need to bide him time before forcing his way in. But his manager is confident the 27-year-old will make an impact once he has properly bedded in and is fitter.

“When you have a group, especially a new group of players with 10 new players coming to this massive club, they are players you know are going to adapt easier than others,” said Caixinha. “Carlos came with another Mexican [Eduardo Herrera] and the other Mexican adapted differently than him. So it’s not about being a Mexican, it’s more about yourself.

“We are definitely very glad to have Pena with us. He’s a great player and he is going to show very good things in this football. It’s just a case of him adapting and needing a little more time.

“We are all the time giving him that confidence and all the time giving him that support. We know he is growing day by day and he is adapting. He wants more day by day and that is the important thing.

“Pena is starting to know that the game here is more physical so you have less time and less space. He needs to understand that and that comes with a rhythm that we are trying to get him into.

“He also needs to get fitter so he is working hard to make sure his body is ready for when he is called into action. He will totally get it that he won’t have the same amount of time and space because the good players and the clever players anticipate the actions. He just needs to get the right rhythm and the right fitness.”

Caixinha described Pena as a versatile player but one who would thrive in an attacking central midfield role.

“Pena is that type of box to box player. He is a really offensive player, those players who easily get in the opponent’s box. He can score goals, he can assist. He can play in all of the offensive roles, but especially in the middle of the park.

“If you ask me where he can play, and the formation that we are using now, he can play with two in the middle and the one that goes further forward. Or he can play as a shadow striker. Or even a little bit on the left coming inside. But mainly within the central spine, that’s his position.

“We have options and that makes me very happy because last season that was something in the middle of the park we were struggling. Now we have a strong middle of the park and we have strong options, not only for the players playing now but also those who are on the back placing that competitiveness within the team. That allows us also to be competitive when we face opponents.”