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Smith pleads with Rangers faithful to lay off Miller

Rangers manager Walter Smith does not expect Kenny Miller to receive a hostile reception from the Ibrox faithful in today's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hamilton.

The striker, who is out of contract this summer, has failed to agree a new deal with the Scottish champions and has been holding talks with both Birmingham and Fiorentina.

He was left out of the squad for Monday's Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock but is expected to be back in contention for the visit of Accies at Ibrox.

The involvement of Miller, who has netted 22 goals so far this season, could be met with a mixed response from the fans, but Smith insists any abuse directed at the player would be completely without justification.

“I'll pick what I think is the best team to play,” said the Rangers boss. “Kenny Miller has played exceptionally well for us over the period of time he has been at Rangers.

“What's happened now is a normal situation, he wouldn't be the first player to leave under freedom of contract.

“It happened to us last season and it will happen to us in the future. It will happen to all clubs.

“I don't think the Rangers support can complain in any way, shape or form about the way Kenny Miller has played for Rangers since he's been here.

“He has been terrific for us. If he can't reach agreement with his own club, like every footballer, he is free to go and try to achieve the best he can somewhere else.

“That's what he's doing and I don't think anyone can blame him for that.”

Celtic were forced to battle from behind to earn a last-gasp draw at rock-bottom Hamilton midweek but Smith claims no warning was needed for Rangers. “We would never write them off,” he said.

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