Celtic are unbeaten but far from unbeatable, according to Rangers forward Kenny Miller. Should Brendan Rodgers’ side prevail against Hamilton at Parkhead tonight, they will move 11 points clear of second-placed Rangers with two games in hand and a vastly superior goal difference.
In the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Hearts, winger Barrie McKay, pictured below, claimed that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Celtic would claim a sixth successive title and that Rangers can still catch them.
Celtic have yet to lose to Scottish opposition in 18 matches under Rodgers, winning 17 of them and the number of their players claiming that they can complete the domestic campaign without losing grows by the week. Miller, though, is having none of it.
“There’s nothing we can do about that because, at the moment, they are unbeaten,” he said. “It’s up to us and the rest of the teams to put that right but the only time we can do that is when we play them next, which is on the 31st. Come that time, we can hopefully change that.
“But they are not unbeatable – 100 per cent. No team is unbeatable. The best teams in world football get beaten, it’s as simple as that. It’s a big, big ask to go through a whole season undefeated, that’s for sure.”
Rangers’ best opportunity to bring their rivals back closer to the chasing pack will come when Celtic come to Ibrox on Hogmanay but Miller insists that the three fixtures before then are just as crucial for his team.
A home match against Inverness on Christmas Eve is sandwiched between visits to Hamilton on Friday and St Johnstone on December 28, and the veteran stressed that Rangers must take all nine points. “At the moment it’s a big, big ask,” he said. “We keep talking about putting a run of consistent wins together and, to have any chance of clawing back some of that gap, we have to do that.
“We’ll never give it up and we won’t concede it but,for us to get it back and make it respectably close, we are going to have to put a run together.
“We’ve still not managed to get three wins in a row but we have another opportunity to do that on Friday and we want to kick on to four and five successive wins.
“It’s a great spell for us because the games come thick and fast and it gives us the chance to put that run together.
“The game against Celtic falls into that category. If we can win the next three games against Hamilton, Inverness and St Johnstone we’ll go into the Old Firm game off the back of five wins.
“That game against Celtic is at home. We’ve already put right the defeats away from home to Aberdeen and Hearts, so it would be good to win that one against Celtic as well.”
Improving an away record, which has seen them win just three league matches on the road since February and includes losing twice at Hampden during that time, is a must for Rangers.
“The fans have been incredible but we have to be able to do it away from home in front of smaller crowds as well,” he said. This team is only good when everybody is doing their job. That’s guys on the pitch and guys who are coming onto the pitch as well.
“We can’t have a night off, whether there’s 50,000 at Ibrox or 6-7000 at Hamilton. We need to peform, we need to turn up and play with the same tempo and intensity that we showed in the last two home games.”
Miller is currently 10 days away from his 37th birthday but he has no intention of calling it a day any time soon. He has kept Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner out of the side while claiming a regular place in Mark Warburton’s starting 11 and, although his contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign, he believes he can carry on until 2021.
“That’s what I want; it’s no secret that I don’t want be going anywhere else,” he said.
“I would love to finish in five years time at Rangers, but who knows? All I can do is do what I do. I’ll just go out and work hard.
“I feel I’m contributing and I’ve always said that, as long as I’m playing and contributing to the team, I’m more than happy to continue and I feel I’m doing that pretty well this year.”
l Miller was speaking as the Rangers’ first-team squad and management visited Glasgow’s Royal Hospital For Children to hand over a donation of £10,000 from the Rangers Charity Foundation.