Miller is liv­ing in hope that Caix­inha de­liv­ers at Ibrox

For­mer Rangers mid­fielder sur­prised as any­one at ap­point­ment of the Por­tuguese

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - SCOTT MULLEN

HEY say hope con­quers fear. Rangers fans will need that to be the case, if Char­lie Miller is any­thing to go by.

Like many as­so­ci­ated with the Ibrox club, the for­mer nine-in-a-row mid­fielder was left sur­prised when Pe­dro Caix­inha was named as Rangers head coach on a three-year deal. A de­but 4-0 tri­umph over Hamil­ton Ac­cies has since went part of the way to­wards al­lay­ing the cu­rios­ity sur­round­ing the Por­tuguese.

Lit­tle over a week on from that vic­tory at Ibrox, Miller’s as­sess­ment of where the 46-year-old can take Rangers, at least in the short term as they pur­sue sec­ond place in the Pre­mier­ship, re­mains cloudy at best. Dur­ing an in­ter­view which lasted all of six min­utes, the words ‘hope’ and ‘hope­fully’ were ut­tered 14 times by Miller when dis­cussing the new Rangers man­ager.

De­spite the am­bi­gu­ity, what is clear to the 41-year-old is that as much as Caix­inha may have re­ceived an ini­tial bounce against the low-fly­ing Ac­cies, as­pi­ra­tions of fin­ish­ing sec­ond should be dropped in favour of build­ing for next sea­son.

“No dis­re­spect to him, but I hadn’t heard of him,” said Miller of the man brought in from Al Gharafa. “He started well and he has spo­ken well. It was a good re­sult against Hamil­ton. Good luck to him and hope­fully he can get the team back to where we be­long.

“I don’t think they will get sec­ond now. Aberdeen have gone 11 games un­beaten at home and they don’t look like they will drop many points.

“It was a sur­prise ap­point­ment for every­body. Is it the right one? We will have to wait and see. I hope so and I hope he is the right one and does well. He has got a trans­fer win­dow to get some play­ers in so let’s see who he lets go and who he brings in. Hope­fully we can build for next sea­son.

“They have went left field, def­i­nitely. But I hope that he does re­ally well and can get Rangers back where they be­long and that is up at the top of the ta­ble and win­ning leagues and cups. Let’s hope that can hap­pen. We have got a big semi-fi­nal to come and that will take care of it­self. Hope­fully Pe­dro can get us a re­sult.

“He seemed to make an im­pact in the Hamil­ton game and hope­fully that con­tin­ues. Some­times when a new man­ager comes in the play­ers get a lift. It is a fresh start so hope­fully he can get the best out of every­one.”

Given the in­con­sis­tent na­ture of their per­for­mances so far, it’s not quite clear even at this stage in pro­ceed­ings just what the best from this Rangers team will quite de­liver.

Miller was crit­i­cal of some of the sign­ings over the Mark Warburton era and to be hon­est it would be hard to ar­gue. Joey Bar­ton, Philippe Sen­deros, Matt Crooks and Joe Gar­ner to name but a few. It is a team that at least has looked func­tional in re­cent weeks in the draw against Celtic and the two wins over Hamil­ton, but the jury is surely still out on how many of the cur­rent crop will fit into Caix­inha’s grand plan as he looks to build a squad in his vi­sion.

“Fi­nan­cially Celtic are ob­vi­ously miles ahead and I think there is still a bit of a gap. But hope­fully Pe­dro can come in and close it. We have got the semi-fi­nal that we ob­vi­ously want to win,” added Miller ahead of next month’s meet­ing with Celtic.

“They were bet­ter last year but we were down a league. They are not all bad play­ers, def­i­nitely not. They can

Pic­tures: SNS

STEADY HAND? Pe­dro Caix­inha was an un­known quan­tity for Char­lie Miller (be­low), but he has high hopes.

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