Kenny Miller believes Rangers can take a leaf out of Celtic’s book and effect a significant and successful transformation of their team in just one summer.
The veteran striker regards the work done by Brendan Rodgers in revitalising the Celtic side beaten by Rangers in last season’s Scottish Cup semi-final as the template for what new Ibrox boss Pedro Caixinha must try to achieve as he attempts to bridge the gulf which has opened up between the clubs in this campaign.
“I know Celtic were champions as well last year, but they weren’t great and we saw that in the semi-final,” reflected Miller.
“I know we only won on penalties but I felt we were closer to them on the day, we were the better football team, we looked like we had a better gameplan. Look what a manager and a few big-name signings can do. Better quality, higher quality signings and then reinvigorating the good players that were there. We can look at that.
“No doubt there will be people coming and going in the summer but if we can get that right, win matches at the start of next season and breed confidence in what we are trying to achieve then that will set you up for a far better start.”
Rangers face Hearts at Ibrox this afternoon knowing they can finish no higher than third in the Premiership table this season.
Although a place in the Europa League qualifiers has been secured, Miller makes no attempt to mask the scale of disappointment felt by Rangers in their first season back in the top flight.
“European football has been achieved, which is a step in the right direction from where we were,” he said. “But it’s hard to look at finishing third as an achievement. It’s not where we want to be as a football club. It has been a long, frustrating season for us, finishing empty-handed.
“The ultimate goal is to get back and be in a far stronger position next year. There is a hell of a lot we need to improve upon. Without sounding boring or repetitive, to win a league you need to be consistent.
“You are not going to win every game and it’s highly unlikely you are going to go unbeaten. You are going to face a few blips over the course of a season. To have that level of consistency, where 27 or 28 wins normally wins you the league, you need to be hitting top form most weeks.
“You can lose games playing well, when things go against you, or you can win games when you don’t play as well. That’s the ingredients of a successful season and it’s something we haven’t done.
“It has been as frustrating a season as any I can remember. It’s not as if I’ve constantly dealt with success and always been winning things in my career. But, with the demands and expectations of this club, including the demands we put on ourselves as players, it’s been highly frustrating.
“We have seen flashes of brilliance throughout the season, some scintillating stuff and then moments of madness as well. The inconsistency has been there for all to see. If we are going to have any sort of success, whether in league or cups, we will need a higher level of consistency and performance next season.
“We have three games to go and want to finish as strongly as we can. Three wins would be great to finish off the season. They are three tough games – Hearts, Aberdeen and St Johnstone have all been difficult opponents for us this season. It is three games where we have a chance to finish on a good note.”