AT home, Daniel Candeias has his hands full with his two-year-old son Alfonso, but that doesn’t mean he gets a break when he goes to work. There, Alfredo Morelos is the one to keep him on his toes.

The 30-year-old Portuguese winger is more than happy to be a father figure to his young team-mate on and off the pitch, a role that has brought its fair share of ups and downs as the striker has strayed from the straight and narrow.

But Candeias insists that one of his closest friends is actually a pussycat away from the field despite his infamous disciplinary issues that have landed him in hot water and put his team in difficult positions on more than the odd occasion.

Candeias acknowledges that Morelos must tame that side of his character, but he says that a fine line must be tread between controlling the fire in his belly and extinguishing it altogether.

“He’s a quiet guy off the pitch,” said Candeias. “On the pitch, some players can transform. When he plays, he is different. It’s like I have another baby! I talk with him all the time about when he is in the game not to confront other players. But that is part of the game of Alfredo. It’s like [Atletico Madrid striker] Diego Costa. If you don’t go in with that fight, you are not the same. It’s important for him.

“Don’t forget – he is very young still. Sometimes that is forgotten. He is 22 and there is so much more time for him to improve as a player and to concentrate on making himself better at football. It’s normal you make mistakes as a young player, you need more experience and through that you improve your football.

“In football, sometimes you are out on the pitch and you are not thinking with the head. Alfredo now, I think, has been thinking about the red cards and the team has been helping him with this because he’s so important for the team.

“Alfredo does understand English and in the dressing room all the team like Alfredo because he’s a funny guy.

“Now [he has to] forget the red cards and score more goals – that’s what is important.”

Showing the bond that has developed between the players this season, Candeias travelled to Austria in midweek to watch his team-mates exit the Europa League despite being suspended. And now he feels that their domestic opponents – starting with Hamilton this afternoon – will feel the full brunt of the frustrations that have been bubbling up over the last three matches, as the defeat to Aberdeen was followed up by a draw at Dens Park and then the loss to Rapid Vienna.

“It was disappointing to go out [of Europe] but I’m proud of my team-mates,” he said. “We have done well in Europe this season but now we must concentrate on the league.

“It was frustrating for me not to play as I wanted to help.

But, I still wanted to be there. I asked the gaffer if I could go with the team as it was such an important game.

It is important we all stick together. We are all one big family.

“Now the focus has to be on Hamilton. Our last two performances in the league have not been good. We have to try and challenge.”