Kenny Miller: Nathan Oduwa will learn from ‘treatment’

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Kenny Miller does not quite concur with the notion that young players need a good kicking to toughen them up for the challenges ahead.

However, the veteran Rangers striker believes it was invaluable for him to go out on loan as a skinny kid to Scotland’s bottom tier and experience a more agricultural form of the beautiful game.

Nathan Oduwa: The centre of attention against Livingston. Picture: SNS

Nathan Oduwa: The centre of attention against Livingston. Picture: SNS

And so Miller feels that while Nathan Oduwa has become a bit of a target for opposition defenders – especially against Livingston last Tuesday night – it will have a beneficial effect.

Miller, hoping to be back in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s clash away to St Mirren, said: “He’s a good lad and he doesn’t moan too much about the treatment he receives.

“I went to Stenhousemuir and played in the Third Division and I came on leaps and bounds. I was only young and I got off to a decent start, scoring a couple of doubles in my first few games.

“I wasn’t quite the flair player Nathan is, but I was the young whippersnapper and people tried to give me the treatment. That’s part and parcel of growing up and learning your trade.

“A few of them were handing it out and I was a young lad built like a toothpick, just buzzing about and a few senior pros were trying to put me in my place. It’s all part of becoming the player I am.”

Mark Warburton felt Oduwa should have been given more protection in the Petrofac Training Cup-tie with Livingston and he had a chance to air his views at a meeting yesterday between the clubs and Referee Development Officer John Fleming.

The Rangers manager said: “I think we have got to improve the lines of communication. It is not enough for coaches and managers to shout and scream.

“But, at the same time, standards have to improve. It is not just tackles. It could be time keeping, it could be tunnel discipline, it could be many other aspects that we have got to improve upon. I think the powers that be are keen to do so.”

Miller may be 36 in December but he hopes to earn another year’s contract to hopefully play in the top flight one more time.

Warburton is warming to the idea and is also open to contract talks with others who are nearing the end of their agreements, like Nicky Law and Dean Shiels.

He said: “At 35, he sets a fantastic example. He has been there, he has done it and yet every day he is still the best he can be. For youngsters, he is magnificent.”

Law will miss out in Paisley tomorrow but Gedion Zelalem should be back after returning from international duty with a hamstring strain.