Miller: Gers must up game

Date published: Monday 4th May 2015 5:28

The Gers have struggled against Queens this campaign, losing away twice and drawing once at Ibrox as they finished a disappointing third in the Championship.

The two sides are set to clash again in the first of a two-legged play-off on May 9 for the right to play Hibernian, with the winners of that tie then going on to face the team which finishes 11th in the top flight.

Rangers finished the season with an ultimately disappointing 2-2 draw at champions Hearts, conceding twice in the closing stages to let a two-goal lead slip.

However, speaking at the PFA Scotland Player of the Year awards in Glasgow on Sunday evening, Miller said it was vital that Rangers put the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion behind them and focused on the challenge that Queens will offer, especially at Palmerston.

He said: “Fortunately enough we are not playing them twice there or we would be out. But we need to get to grips with the way they play. They’ve caused us a lot of problems down there. We’ve just not been up to speed in terms of our performance and implementing our game plans and imposing our good players on the game.

“They’ve done that far better than us and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen again and find a way to perform. We want to go and win both games, it’s as simple as that.

“We set out at the start of the season to be champions. That was taken away from us by a fantastic Hearts team. It was apparent we would have to go through the play-offs and we wanted to finish as high as we could but we’ve had to settle with finishing third with Hibs winning yesterday.

“Ultimately what the manager wanted was a performance (against Hearts) so we could go into the next games in a good bit of form. I felt we had that for 80 minutes yesterday and felt we were comfortable in the game. They put us under a lot of pressure at the end and ultimately came away with the draw, but that doesn’t really matter. The performance was pleasing.”

Miller insists that Rangers need to start playing consistently well, with their stop-start form having played a part in a frustrating campaign.

But the striker, in his third spell with the Glasgow club, said that while they will aim for improved performances and consistency, he doesn’t expect the side to take a drastically different approach to the ties.

“We’ve definitely not shown that consistency,” Miller said. “It’s been a good performance here, maybe followed by three or four average ones so we need to put that right in the coming months.

“I don’t think we can afford to have any kind of change of approach. We need to get to grips with the way they play and impose our good players and our game plan onto them. If we can do that and perform like we did for 80 minutes on Saturday then I don’t think we will have any problems.

“It turns out it’s a long wait between now and the semi-final of the play-offs. We would like to have finished second but the fact is that there’s 18 days off between now and the semi-final. We’ve got two very, very tough games that, if we can come through that in good form, then I think we will be going into that game full of confidence and full of belief.”

Having already sampled play-off joy with Wolves in 2003, Miller knows that such ties can be very unpredictable. As such, he doesn’t see Rangers’ more experienced squad enjoying any sort of advantage.

He added: “To be honest I would say no. In the play-offs anything can happen and I’ve been through it and done it in England and anything can happen when it comes to a playoff game.

“You have a 36-game league season and it comes down to a two-legged game to progress; it’s tough. Ultimately we just need to play well. We need to go down to Palmerston and play a lot better than we have done the other times this season.”

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