Miller's five-star display inspires Rangers rampage

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Crisis time may now be over, but Miller's time has certainly come. Dick Advocaat's decision to hold back, until now, the young man he paid £2m for in the summer may be judged as a brave decision - or folly.

Crisis time may now be over, but Miller's time has certainly come. Dick Advocaat's decision to hold back, until now, the young man he paid £2m for in the summer may be judged as a brave decision - or folly.

History will take care of that debate, but Kenny Miller's five-goal show, on only his third start, has stopped the Rangers rot in quite emphatic fashion.

The trauma of recent days had caused a lot of soul searching inside Ibrox. Lorenzo Amoruso was stripped of the captaincy by Advocaat, while the manager and his players adopted a siege mentality by blaming the press for all the problems that had seen them slump to fourth place.

What was conveniently ignored by the Dutchman was his own role. That became clear in midweek when he allowed Miller a rare start in the League Cup and was rewarded with a goal from the young striker. Miller retained his place and was partnered by Michael Mols six weeks after the Dutchman's last sighting against Galatasaray, when his reconstructed knee had apparently condemned him to four months' absence. But this was to be Miller's day.

Miller soothed Advocaat's troubled brow inside 90 seconds when Derek Scrimgour, the St Mirren goalkeeper, poorly punched Ronald de Boer's corner to the young Scot lurking on the edge of the box. He looped a clever lob over the mass of bodies in front of him.

That hardly helped St Mirren's confidence, though, had Graham Fenton not screwed his shot wide in 17 minutes, they might have restored parity. Miller made the former Leicester City player rue his profligacy with two goals inside 60 seconds.

Rangers showed great patience with their build-up in the 23rd minute before De Boer released Arthur Numan, whose low cross to the back post was met by Miller's boot. Scrimgour barely had time to wipe his gloves before Miller netted his hat-trick. An identical raid down the left saw Jörg Albertz delivering a sublime cross which the former Hibernian striker, after a well-timed run, met with a thumping header.

By the time 31 minutes had elapsed Miller had a fourth. Again De Boer was the provider, Miller peeled off on the left and drove a low shot under Scrimgour.

St Mirren at least refused to lie down. Ricky Gillies pulled one back seconds before the interval when he side-footed a low Fenton cross past Jesper Christiansen.

There was no respite for St Mirren after the interval. Advocaat introduced Billy Dodds for Ronald de Boer and it did not take Rangers' top scorer - who bizarrely lost his place after 11 goals in the first ten games - long to make his mark.

Amoruso began the move with an interception, gave the ball to Ferguson and then ran 50 yards to collect the return wide on the left. The Italian's cross displayed the deftness of a winger rather than a centre-back, allowing Dodds to lunge in and stab his shot past the exposed Scrimgour.

St Mirren deserved to reduce the deficit with Scott Walker's towering header but Christiansen's leap and parry denied him, before Miller struck his fifth in the 77th minute. Numan and Dodds combined for the latter to roll the ball into the path of Miller, who found the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.

There was still time for more: Miller even moved aside to let Neil McCann steer in the seventh with the last kick of the game.

Comments