Rangers players daring to grumble about Pedro Caixinha’s transfer drive to reshape the squad beyond all recognition should either step up or shut up, according to Kenny Miller.
Five deals are complete and several more are in the pipeline, with Alfredo Morelos, Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera all expected to join confirmed arrivals Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso, Ryan Jack, Dalcio and Daniel Candeias. Bids are also being pursued for Graham Dorrans and Jamie Walker and the Portuguese coach seems to be intent on squeezing game time for the majority of players who were with the Ibrox club last season.
The fact that this squad was complicit in the Ibrox club’s third place Premiership finish last term that left them 39 points behind champions Celtic and nine points behind Aberdeen leaves Miller with no sympathy for any team-mate feeling put out by the seemingly never-ending arrivals.
“Prove you’re better. Simple as that,” was Miller’s message to any Rangers player considering themselves unfairly under threat. “If somebody wants to come in and take my place then they’re going to have to be better than me. And I’m not going to allow that to happen easily. So if you come in and prove you’re better, then you’ve got the jersey. If you don’t, you won’t.
“People who say, ‘we’re bringing this guy in who’s in my position’, just be better. You’re at a big club – every season there’s going to be new players brought in. If it’s in your position then you’re just going to have to be better. You just have to show you’re better-equipped to do the role. You can’t mump and moan because we’re signing players.
“Clearly we need to sign players. With how far back we were last year we need better players and we need better competition within the team. There’s no doubt we need to improve the quality of the squad if we want to – and I hate the phrase – close the gap on Celtic.
“There was a huge points difference last season even to Aberdeen. So for us to be far more competitive we need better players.
“Thankfully it’s not my job. The manager has to assemble a squad which he thinks has the right balance and quality within it. We need the right characters to sustain a challenge. But I think the level of player we’re after shows an awareness of what we need to take us back to a higher position.”