LEE McCulloch has claimed his ex-Rangers team mate Kenny Miller was “hung out to dry” by “certain people” at the Ibrox club when he was disciplined and dropped earlier this season.

Miller found himself frozen out of the first team following a fall-out with former manager Pedro Caixinha in the aftermath of the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox back in September.

The Portuguese coach allegedly criticised the Scottish contingent in his squad for their attitude towards the foreign players following the loss - and then took exception to the experienced forward’s reaction.

The 37-year-old was also accused of leaking information about what had happened in the meeting to the media – a claim which his agent Dave Baldwin has since vehemently denied.

However, former Rangers captain McCulloch believes it is vital for senior players to speak out if the team’s performance levels fall short of the standards required at Ibrox and has been delighted to see Miller return to the fold.

“It’s been great to see Kenny back,” he said. “I think Kenny is a good professional and he trains well every day and he is a winner. Having played with him with Scotland and Rangers I know he’s a winner. I think he has been hung out to dry a little by certain people at the club.

“Kenny’s got an opinion and some people don’t like that. – but that’s the type of personality you need in a Rangers dressing room. If you come in at half-time or full time and standards have not been met then people need to know.

“Barry Ferguson was the perfect example. If Barry was playing in that team how long do you think he would have lasted? It’s a mentality thing.”

Rangers have won comfortably against Hearts away and Partick Thistle at home since Miller was restored to the starting line-up and named captain by caretaker manager Graeme Murty last month.

Murty has also brought back Jason Holt and Danny Wilson – players who hardly featured under Caixinha – and given game time to youngsters Ryan Hardie and Ross McCrorie.

McCulloch believes have a Scottish nucleus of the side has been key to the upturn in form which the Ibrox club have enjoyed in recent weeks.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Rangers have won their last two matches with five or six Scottish players in the team, players who know the club and know what it means.

“If you look at when Walter (Smith) took over in January 2007, his main thing was to bring in Scottish players because, I think his words were, they knew what it was all about.

“It’s hard for players from overseas to come in and hit the ground running because of the demands and the pressure from the terraces to win games. I don’t think a lot of them are used to it and I think the Scottish players grasp it quicker than the foreign players.”