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Celtic v Rangers: Kenny Miller confident Ibrox men are heading in the right direction

By Gavin McCafferty

Kenny Miller insists he had unwavering confidence that Rangers would beat Celtic at Hampden last season - and he retains full belief in their potential as a squad ahead of the latest derby.

Much has changed since Rangers knocked Celtic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup on penalties at the semi-final stage. The Ibrox side have struggled to regain last season's panache after making 11 signings while the champions have made less changes but so far achieved better advances.

Rangers have drawn two of their first four Premiership games and won the other two narrowly, but Miller's belief in Mark Warburton's managerial methods is unshakeable ahead of today's Parkhead clash.

The former Celtic and Scotland striker said of the semi-final: "I really believed that we would win, and I thought we would have won it well. And I think the performance showed that, I felt we deserved to win it.

"We have got a confidence, we have a confidence in what the manager wants us to do. We just have not put it together as much this season as last season.

"Whether that's the increased level of opposition, or whether that's trying to bed in new signings, we have turned over 20 players in the last two summers. That's a lot of lads to come in and gel. It always takes time, this season has just taken longer."

When asked whether he had the same confidence this time, Miller said: "It's a different challenge. When you play them at Parkhead, it's a different atmosphere. Obviously the nature of the performances and results in the first four league games...

"You can look at a positive, we are unbeaten. If you had offered people that at the start of the season, unbeaten four games going into an Old Firm game, then I think you would have taken it.

"We are disappointed we have maybe not performed as well, but we are still going into it with belief in what we are doing."

With Celtic scoring freely and looking imperious on the domestic front, Rangers fans are looking for their team to lay down a marker. But Miller does not feel they have anything to prove so early in the campaign.

"Whether we get the right result or not, for us it's about doing what we can do," Miller said. "If we can have a performance, sometimes you will win and sometimes not.

"You are never going to lose anything in September, you are never going to win anything. I have found myself with six, seven games to go, seven points behind and still won the league.

"We are approaching this game like we approach any other. We appreciate the significance, but like we said going into the cup semi last year, it's about what we do. We know we have the game to hurt anybody."

Rangers are approaching 5-1 with some bookmakers, but Miller said: "If you look through any Old Firm game, I would imagine the home team normally have the edge as bookies' favourites.

"This time, we have come up through the lower leagues, they are the champions and the best team in the country, they are champions for a reason.

"But that never stopped us last year. We went into that game full of confidence and belief in what we do. That has not changed.

"We appreciate we will have to tighten up, they have players that can hurt us. But for us it's all about we do."

Belfast Telegraph


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