Glasgow Rangers: ‘The challenge is greater this year’ with campaign kick-off arriving

Rangers forward Kenny Miller says 'we are looking to build' on their last campaign as they ready for a Premiership return with their Scottish League Cup kick-off on Saturday.

Ibrox, home of Rangers. Russell Cheyne / Reuters / Action Images
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Kenny Miller is not thinking about avenging play-off defeat to Motherwell when Rangers kick off their season at Fir Park.

Rangers begin their Scottish League Cup campaign at the venue where they were consigned to another 12 months in the Championship in May 2015, following a 6-1 aggregate loss to Well.

Miller is one of only four players who featured against Motherwell that will belatedly make the step up to the Premiership, along with skipper Lee Wallace and the young pair of Tom Walsh and Andy Murdoch, who were both loaned out last season.

And the former Scotland forward believes Rangers have moved on to such an extent that there is no benefit in using their trip to Motherwell to prove a point.

When asked if the play-off was in his mind, Miller said: “It’s not at all. That was two years ago now. Everything last year was about forgetting what went on before and really looking forward.

“We have a new team, new staff, new manager, new coaches in place. We wanted to turn a new page and we did that last year.

“We had a great year and for us we are looking to build on that and get better and get more consistent. We will have to be because the challenge is greater this year.

“It all starts on Saturday and after that the games come thick and fast. Come the sixth (of August) when the league games come around, we will be in a good place to go and mount that challenge.”

Motherwell also moved on from their relegation escape to finish in the top six last season and Miller feels their meeting is a good way to prepare for their top-flight challenge.

“Ideally it might have come towards the end of the group phase, but it’s a great test for us as it is for them,” the 36-year-old said.

“But for us coming up it’s a chance to show what we’re about and show we’re capable of playing at that level, which we did do in the games that we played Premiership opposition last year.

“It’s a competition we want to win, so we are going to have to start off with a win on Saturday.”

Rangers have only had one pre-season friendly – against Charleston Battery of the United States third division – while Motherwell have had five, although Mark McGhee’s side have lost to Arbroath, Cowdenbeath and Hibernian.

“No matter what happens in pre-season, even three or four games into a season you are still trying to get that sharpness up,” said Miller, whose team also face East Stirlingshire, Annan and Stranraer in the competition.

“This format allows us four games before the season to really get us up to speed.

“We are looking forward to it. It will be a tough start, away to Premiership opposition. But we will be ready. We have had three good weeks of training and the lads look fit and strong.”

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