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Even Barca don't always win at home; RANGERS NO PANIC AT SLIP-UPS Miller insists best teams in world can have an off day.


A FOOTBALL powerhouse drew 2-2 at home and blew the chance to establish a five-point lead at the top of the table in front of a partisan home support.

Rangers striker Kenny Miller walked through the front door on Saturday night, checked the Barcelona result against Deportivo La Coruna and knew the best-laid schemes don't always go to plan.

They once at least had the Champions League in common but these days the only similarity between Gers and the Catalan giants is 11 on each side and a desire to win respective titles.

Their fanbases are also heavy with expectation, which led to grumbles from Ibrox at the weekend after their favourites could only draw 2-2 with Morton, a fortnight after they had dropped two points at Livingston.

Mark Warburton's side have looked peerless at Championship level for most of the season but supporters are beginning to get antsy after an 11-point lead over Hibs just a month ago has been reduced to only three.

Miller, 35, has seen it all before over three spells at the club and was the voice of reason at Hampden yesterday as the national stadium was announced as the venue for Gers' Petrofac Cup Final with Peterhead.

On the one hand, he has called on the Rangers players - several of them aged under 20, many of them with little experience of winning titles - to prove they have the mettle to endure their current difficulties.

On the other, he was attempting to put it all into perspective by insisting even the biggest club in the world must face the challenge of overcoming opponents who may lack their flair but make up for it with tactical awareness.

He said: "We have better players and have proved in the past, by winning leagues and cups, that we are one of the better clubs in the country.

"At the weekend too many of us were off form and Morton did well defensively. Our failure to win was down to a bit of both and teams setting up that way against us is nothing new.

"We're not the only side who faces it. Barcelona drew 2-2 on Saturday and they are the best team in the world. You can have an off day when teams set up against you.

"However, we must ensure that no matter how we play, we come through and win.

"The manager says we are not going to play the beautiful game every week and be at the top of our game but we have to find a way to win. We spoke about it after the match, although what goes on in the dressing room will stay in the dressing room.

"If you could put your finger on what was going wrong you would sort it straight away.

"We are working hard to make sure results like that don't happen again. No disrespect to Morton, who were fantastic on the day, but we should be winning those games at home.

"There was a lengthy discussion about what didn't happen, what needs to happen and what we need to make sure doesn't happen again.

"I took it upon myself to speak to the lads but the manager expects everyone to have an opinion. No opinion is wrong.

"If you're 18 or 35, he wants the lads piping up.

"There might be some things said that people don't agree with but it is about a team trying to find a way to improve.

"Everything is taken the right way. There is nothing personal. It's all used as a positive to try and move on and make us better."

Rangers travel to Falkirk on Saturday to face a side still smarting from the manner of their 3-1 defeat at Ibrox when they felt they were on their way to a draw before James Tavernier scored from a hotly disputed free-kick near the end.

Hibs meanwhile are piling on the pressure as they prepare to host Queen of the South on the back of a 16-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with only two draws.

And Miller, who started his career at Easter Road, added: "Hibs haven't surprised me, they are a good team. Don't forget they finished above us last season. They have been over the distance.

"Head to heads against them could be huge, although the game in two weeks at Ibrox is out of our minds. We need to win at Falkirk and then we can look forward to it.

"It's not accurate to say they're getting under our skin. We are firmly focused on ourselves.

"If we win every game they can't stop us and it doesn't matter what they say."


DRAWING BREATH Miller is wary of Peterhead

in final after Morton and Depor's shock draws, inset
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 16, 2015
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