Miller is living in hope that Caixinha delivers at Ibrox
Former Rangers midfielder surprised as anyone at appointment of the Portuguese
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
STEADY HAND? Pedro Caixinha was an unknown quantity for Charlie Miller (below), but he has high hopes.