By James Black
Rangers legend Derek Johnstone has admitted he was “delighted” to see Kenny Miller return to the starting XI to face Hearts at Murrayfield last weekend.
Miller was restored to the side by Graeme Murty in his first game in charge after replacing Pedro Caixinha as Rangers manager on a temporary basis.
The veteran striker scored twice and set-up Josh Windass for the Gers’ third in the 3-1 win over Hearts at Murrayfield.
Caixinha has banished the 37-year-old from his squad in the wake of the 2-0 Old Firm defeat to Celtic after reportedly leaking details of a team meeting to a journalist.
Miller missed four first-team games while he served his penance before coming back with a bang at the home of Scottish rugby.
Murty also handed Miller the captain’s armband with Lee Wallace still out through a groin injury and Johnstone thinks it was the right decision by the interim Ibrox boss.
“I said a couple of weeks ago that Pedro Caixinha was cutting off his nose to spite his face in the situation with Kenny Miller,” Johnstone said in his column for the Evening Times website.
“At the end of the day, the manager is there to win games and be successful for the club and Kenny not being in the squad didn’t give him the best chance of doing that.
“He is someone that can come on and change a game, he is someone that will give his all for the team and that can inspire those around him.
“You could see that in the way that he played at Murrayfield on Saturday as he scored two goals and set up the third with a terrific through ball for Josh Windass.
“The fans are certainly with him and the reception that he got before, during and after the game would have meant a lot to him.
“He will have a major part to play for Rangers this season. I was delighted to see him back, and being the captain as well.”
Miller is in his third spell with the Ibrox giants and his Rangers career looked over when Caixinha pointed the finger at him and forced him to train with the Gers’ kids.
The former Scotland striker missed first-team games against Hamilton, St. Johnstone, Motherwell and Kilmarnock during his spell out of the team but quickly made up for lost time with his performance against the Jambos.
Next up for the Gers is the visit of Partick Thistle on Saturday as they look to close the six-point gap to league leaders Celtic.
The Gers are in third-place after the Murrayfield win and with second-placed Aberdeen a point further back from Celtic.
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