BREAKING into the side that clocked up a historic ninth title win in-a-row taught a young Charlie Miller a thing or two about coping with the weight of expectation that is placed upon you as a Rangers player.

And particularly at Ibrox, where 50,000 or so home supporters turn up match after match and demand a team that will give everything they have to deliver wins by way of return.

This season, while the supporters have kept up their end of the deal, the team regularly have failed to do so. Seven home defeats, with five since Graeme Murty took over as manager, is their worst record on home soil in over a century.

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The vociferous home crowd was once seen as something for opposition sides to fear, but it seems that this term, it is the Rangers players who are struggling to cope with the weight of expectation that their punters continue to place on their shoulders.

Miller recognises that the level of talent in this Rangers squad is nowhere near the level of the side he played in, but he says that they have no excuses not to match that team for mental strength when they step out at Ibrox.

“The expectation is second to none at Rangers, and you have to accept that,” Miller said. “When they are behind you it’s amazing, but you have to go out there and give them something to get them behind you.

“You have to show them that you want to win the game and get them going from the first minute, not just let teams come and frustrate you in the first 20 minutes and the fans end up getting restless.

“That’s what teams want to do. You have to be up for it 100% and be ready to go and play.

“It’s the greatest pitch in the world to go and play on. It’s a great stadium to play in, and if you can’t play there then you have problems.

“It’s no good raising your game against Celtic and then dropping off against Kilmarnock, and they have to know that they are coming to a massive football club and the ground is sold out practically every week.

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“There’s a lot of expectation on your shoulders, and you are only as good as your last pass, you have to remember that.”

Despite the doom and gloom around Ibrox this week following those two defeats at the hands of Celtic and Kilmarnock, Miller has seen some chinks of light, most notably in the performance against Brendan Rodgers’s side despite the disappointment of the final scoreline.

But while he has been glad to see more British players who know what the club are about being brought in, he believes that policy can only carry Rangers so far.

“Graeme is definitely bringing the identity back,” he said. “Pedro Caixinha brought in a lot of foreigners who probably didn’t know too much about the game here, and unfortunately, they struggled. We all wanted them to do well, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

“Murty has brought in a few British players who know what it’s all about, but it’s no good just signing them because they are from Britain, he has to bring in players who can win against Celtic, not just get close to them.

“So, although it was better against Celtic, we need to win. We want British or European players who are quality, and know what Rangers Football Club is all about, and they know they have to win games.”

Such is the importance attached to the Old Firm derby, and such is the desperation from the Rangers support to get a win over their city rivals, that Miller reckons the prospects of Murty remaining manager of the club hinge upon the outcome of the Scottish Cup semi-final next month.

“I think Graeme Murty will believe that he has to win the game if he wants to get the job permanently,” he said. “He will set out to try his best to do that, and hopefully he can, but it will be difficult again.

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“Celtic have got that little bit more quality in the final third, but I believe that if we can get everybody fit and raring to go for the cup game, then I believe we can do well.

“It’s not going to be easy, but let’s hope we can get a result.

“Rangers could take a lot out of the last game, and they have to take those positives into these next few games now and onto the end of the season, and then work on the negatives, particularly at the back.

“They’re not far away, they’ve been improving, so we’re getting there.”

Miller, who now runs his own football academy, is looking forward to stepping out at Ibrox himself this Saturday as he takes part in the Rangers Legends match in aid of the Rangers Charity Foundation and the Rangers Youth Development Company.

“I don’t know what it’s like for the fans having to watch us fat guys running about, and the pace of the football will probably be as slow as you’ll ever see, but it will be a good laugh for a good cause.

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“The more money we make, then the easier it will be for the club to produce young players, so it will be a special day with friends all together.

“Hopefully there’s a good crowd there and hopefully we can put on a spectacle.”

*The Legends Return, Saturday 24 March, 3pm, Ibrox Stadium. Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £8 for concessions and £6 for juveniles.

A family package is also available for two adults and two children for £32.

Tickets can be bought online at, by visiting the Rangers Ticket Centre, or calling 0871 702 1972