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Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

Walter Smith says Kenny Miller will face Hamilton

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Smith no qualms on fielding Miller

Rangers manager Walter Smith says striker Kenny Miller will be involved in Saturday's match against Hamilton at home in the Scottish Premier League.

He had left Miller out of Monday's defeat of Kilmarnock after the Ibrox club had accepted an offer from Birmingham for its top scorer.

"The other night there was an awful lot surrounding him," said Smith of Miller, who is also attracting Fiorentina.

"But that has settled down a bit so he will be involved in the game tomorrow."

And Smith added: "He hasn't signed for anybody yet so he is still a Rangers player. There has been no change; the situation is still in the hands of Kenny and his advisors."

The Rangers boss left the 31-year-old Scotland international out of the team that beat Killie 2-0 in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Monday, but he believes that the player's state of mind is such that he could feature against the SPL's bottom side.

He said: "We made it clear that we didn't want him to go. If he doesn't go, then hopefully he will play as well in the second half of the season as he did in the first for us.

In the first half of the season we dropped more points at home than away from home so we have to adjust to that in the second half of the season

Rangers manager Walter Smith

"The situation is fairly straightforward. Birmingham have made a bid for him that has been accepted by our club. He has got to negotiate his own side of it.

"If he reaches agreement with Birmingham then it's clear that he can leave. He may sign a pre-contract with them, I don't know. It's out of our control. I just hope it gets settled quickly."

Birmingham remain the only club to have had an offer accepted for the player, while Fiorentina's interest has been more limited.

Smith said of the Italian club: "They spoke to Martin (Bain, Rangers chief executive) on one occasion and then never got back to him again.

"That is the only contact we have had with them. Birmingham City's offer was made and accepted. That's still the case."

Although Smith, in his final year as manager at Ibrox, would like Miller's contractual situation to be resolved quickly, he says the striker would be selected if he signs a pre-contract deal with another club with a view to joining them in the summer when his Rangers contract runs out.

"It's an awkward situation both for club and player if he agrees to go to another club but still has to play at our club for the last four months of the season," he said.

"He will be involved with us if that is the case.

"I don't think the Rangers support can complain about the way Kenny Miller has played for Rangers since he came - he has been terrific for us.

"If he can't reach agreement with our own club then he is free to go and achieve the best he can somewhere else and I don't think anyone can blame him for that."

The Rangers manager also confirmed that striker Nikica Jelavic could return from the ankle injury he sustained at Tynecastle in October but would not play from the start.

Unless Miller leaves Ibrox, Jelavic may well be the only player to come in and boost Smith's squad, with the club's bankers controlling spending.

The manager said: "We know that we don't have any money to bring in anybody at the present moment. If someone does go, then obviously they (the bank) would look at that situation."

Looking at his club's league position, where Rangers have three games in hand but trail Celtic by five points, Smith hopes his players can put together a sequence of wins.

"We would prefer to have played the games," said Smith.

"Maybe the advantage does go to the club who has the points. There is always a pressure on Rangers and Celtic to win every game they play. We have cup games added to our league situation and we have a small group.

"As I keep saying, it will depend on a bit of luck with injuries and suspension. To take advantage of it we have to go on a winning run.

"In the first half of the season we dropped more points at home than away from home so we have to adjust to that in the second half of the season and make sure it doesn't happen.

"If we can do that, we have a good chance of getting to the top of the league again but it is no easy situation."



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see also
McLeish hopeful on Miller signing
13 Jan 11 |  Rangers
Rangers 3-0 Kilmarnock
10 Jan 11 |  Scottish Cups


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