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Rangers engine room unit can't afford to burn out again

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Charlie Miller believes Rangers have the classy engine to power a sustained title challenge so long as it doesn’t run out of petrol.

The former Ibrox midfielder is adamant the midfield blend within Steven Gerrard’s assembled ranks has all of the attributes required to take success back to Govan.

Defensively, Rangers made costly mistakes in the second half of last term which were severely punished.

In attack, Gerrard was unable to count upon Alfredo Morelos to produce in part two of last term as the Colombian’s form fell away.

Miller accepts the midfield also lost some of its spark upon the resumption of the campaign, but that doesn’t change his view it’s the strongest area of the squad which has the quality and depth to succeed.

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Gerrard has already added Ianis Hagi on a permanent deal to supplement stalwarts such as Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara.

With potential additions such as Amiens’ South African international Bungani Zungu being scouted to give even more strength of options, Miller is sure the unit can propel Rangers back to glory.

He said: “The midfield is the same as finished last season and I said around this time a year ago that if it could compete with Celtic’s, then Rangers would have a chance to win the title.

“Up until January, they looked as though they were doing that. They looked good, they looked hungry and they were playing well.

“I actually thought Kamara was the best midfield player in the league until Rangers came back from Dubai and then he just wasn’t the same.

“That was typical of what happened with a few and it’s hard to put your finger on why. Maybe they blew a gasket.

(Image: Rangers FC/PA Images)

“After the season started again, the entire squad didn’t turn up. Maybe it wasn’t big enough in terms of all-round strength and quality.

Celtic have quality throughout their squad in every position and it might be that Rangers need to add that in some other positions because midfield is covered.

“On the evidence that we saw, it certainly looked that way through December.

“In fairness, you can’t argue that the midfield also fell away a wee bit in the second half of the season.

“It seemed to go through all of the positions of the pitch, but the challenge is to try and maintain it for the whole season and keep up those standards throughout.

“I’m sure the midfield can do it because there are all types of players within it and there is such a nice blend where there are individuals who could do different things.

“Davis is obviously at an age where you are trying to keep him fit as injuries might keep him out longer, but he got the whole team playing at one point.

“Jack looked a proper player, Kamara was outstanding for that spell.

Arfield made a contribution and it was clear that the quality was there in the midfield. Davis, Jack, Arfield, Kamara and Hagi. Joe Aribo looked brilliant at times and not so much others, but the ability is there.

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“Ryan Kent is another one. I really believe that he can do so much more.

It’s not having a go at him, but’s just that I believe he has so much to offer and it was so frustrating the way it didn’t work out last season.

“As I said, Rangers matched Celtic all the way through the first-half of the season and you really thought no-one was going to be able take that many points off the pair of them and the league would be decided by their meetings, but it didn’t work out that way.

“I really felt Rangers had a chance and they did do after winning at Parkhead, but you don’t win a league in December.”

While Miller is perfectly happy with the provisions at the disposal of Gerrard in the middle of the park, he does admit to being unsure over one or two other issues.

In particular, the situation surrounding Morelos brought a strong view.

Gerrard has confessed that he may not be able to keep the Colombian if the right offer is made to Ibrox chiefs and Rennes are amongst clubs sniffing around the attacker.

Charlie Miller (Image: SNS Group)

Figures around the £15million mark have been mentioned and the ex-playmaker says those have to come under severe consideration.

Miller said: “If you can get £15m or £20m for Morelos, you are taking it, aren’t you? Especially as there seems to be some interest in other strikers at the moment.

“Morelos is special at times and lets himself down at others. You look and think he’s learned and then something happens.

“If he’d have stayed up against Celtic and scored in December, he’d have been flying coming back, but he returned not looking himself. “Defensively,

just like as a team and as a whole squad, they looked brilliant before the mid-season break as well, but then bad goals were given away and it was so frustrating there, too.

“Improvements can be made in all areas of the pitch, but I’ve no doubt that midfield area looks strong.

“You go through the players and you can see ones who can do all sorts of different jobs, play all different roles and complement each other. The challenge for them is to produce as a group what they have already shown they can and produce it for a whole season.”




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