Rangers: Kenny Miller expecting a more competitive Ibrox outfit this season

Kenny Miller
Kenny Miller has been encouraged by Rangers' performances in their last three friendly matches

Kenny Miller is confident new-look Rangers will prove to be a more competitive outfit in this season's Scottish Premiership.

The Ibrox men finished third last term, 39 points behind champions Celtic and nine behind Aberdeen.

But with manager Pedro Caixinha having signed nine new players in the summer, Miller is expecting better this season.

"We are looking to be competitive and to do that we needed better players," the 37-year-old striker said.

"I am not going to make predictions because you could end up with egg on your face.

"I am not going to say we are going to win the league but what I want us to be is far more competitive over the course of the season, to be more successful.

"I want us to be better and everybody in that dressing room is working towards us being better.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha and his coaching team
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha and his coaching team prepare for the new season

"It will be a competitive league, whether that be for the title or for second, third or fourth spot. It is a season to look forward to."

Rangers kick off their campaign away to Motherwell on Sunday, and when asked if there is a danger that his side will once again finish as many as 39 points adrift of Celtic, Miller replied: "I would hope not but I'm not going to make crazy predictions. But we're definitely confident that will be a lot closer this season."

The summer started badly for Rangers as they were knocked out of the Europa League in the first qualifying round by Luxembourg side Progres Niederkorn.

A draw with Marseille and victories over Watford and Sheffield Wednesday in subsequent friendly matches have, however, brought some positivity to Ibrox in recent weeks.

"We've got to be realistic, they are pre-season games," said Miller. "But had we not got those results then there would have been a lot more pressure building into the first game.

"We are looking to be better, it was frustrating for everybody last season in the way it went, it was stop-start and our form was patchy at best.

Bruno Alves
Portugal defender Bruno Alves is one of nine new players brought to Ibrox this summer

"We need to have a far higher level of consistency this year and it is important we start well."

Manager Caixinha took over in March and has, to date, endured some difficult days in the Ibrox hotseat.

But Miller insists that the Portuguese boss has the backing of the entire Rangers squad.

"We are fully behind any manager of this football club," he added. "You have earned the right to manage this great club, so you have got to have that respect.

"We have found a way of playing over the last three games that has been very successful, albeit in friendlies.

"We are definitely confident in what has happened over the last two or three weeks, the work we have put in and the belief we have in the manager and in each other as players."

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