RANGERS fans have been urged to give Pedro Caixinha more time to prove himself as manager of the Ibrox club following the painful back-to-back defeats to Celtic.

Caixinha has been heavily criticised for both his team selection and tactics in the wake of the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final and Ladbrokes Premiership losses.

But Drew Roberton, the general secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association, believes the Portuguese coach, who was only appointed in March, must be allowed to bring in his own players.

Roberton has also insisted that Rangers have, despite the disappointment of the record 5-1 reverse to their city rivals on Saturday, still made progress during the 2016/17 campaign.

“I think it would be foolish to pass any judgment on the manager just now,” he said. “We need to see what he does in the transfer window in the summer and then next season.

“I think many fans maybe need a wee bit of a reality check. We have just spent four seasons in the lower divisions. We have only come back into the top division this season.

“You have to be realistic in your objective. It looks like we are going to finish high enough up the league to secure a European place and we have also reached the semi-finals of both of the cups.

“I know that some people will take the view that that isn’t good enough for a club like Rangers. But I think you have to look at where the club has been for the last four years.

“I understand that every Rangers fan would have hoped for a better season, but I don’t think what they are going to achieve this season is disastrous.”

Roberton added: “I do think that on Saturday and in the semi-final there was bemusement among many of the fans about the team selection and the game plan.

“Everybody is obviously disappointed. It is hard to take. I don’t think fans would have been so upset if they had seen a display with a bit of promise.

“But, at the same time, we have got a guy in charge of the team who has only been there for five or six weeks. He’s not had a lot of time to properly assess what what he’s got.

“I think you have to give him a transfer window to get his own players in and impart his own ideas. We can see how they go from there.

“You are always going to get knee-jerk reactions or adverse comments after disappointing results – particularly ones against your city rivals. But I think you need to be a bit more objective.

“I’m quite sure that the vast majority of Rangers fans were well aware that winning the league just wasn’t an option this season.

“I am sure they would have liked us to finish second or at least a bit closer to the current league champions. But, for all that there have been some disappointing results, we’re still on the way up.

“It took us two goes to get out of the Championship. I think to get a European place and get to two cup semi-finals is not a bad first go. You have to put it into perspective.

“The time to get upset is if things aren’t looking any better this time next season.”

Thousands of Rangers fans left Ibrox early in disgust on Saturday - something that is unprecedented in a game against Celtic.

But Roberton is hopeful that supporters, who bought 43,000 season tickets last summer, will get behind Caixinha’s side in large numbers in the 2017/18 campaign.

“It is important that they get as many as possible,” he said. “Fans are fickle. Perhaps there might not be the same number who buy seasons tickets. But I would like to think they would support the team in large numbers again.”