Ex-Rangers striker Jonatan Johansson says this man will be vital in Old Firm showdown

Kenny Miller

The former Gers man has hailed Kenny Miller's goalscoring and says his calming influence will be important for the Ibrox side agaisnt Celtic.

Former Rangers striker Jonatan Johansson has hailed the continued professionalism of veteran striker Kenny Miller and told the Scottish Sun that his calming influence will be key in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Old Firm showdown against Celtic.

The Gers face the Bhoys at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday in a game which is sure to be a highly-charged, emotional affair given what is at stake.

Rangers will be desperate for victory, not only to reach the final and remain on course for a trophy treble, but also to fire an early warning shot to their arch-rivals that they will be in for a battle next season when the Gers return to the Premiership after four years away.

For Miller, who is one of only five post-war players to turn out for both clubs, he will face his former side with something to prove to them after scoring 18 goals in 37 games so far this season.

Johansson, who scored 25 goals in 71 games during a three-year spell at Ibrox in the late 1990s, believes Miller is the model professional and says his calming influence on his teammates will be vital in Sunday's clash.

The former Finland international told the Scottish Sun: "Old Firm games are hard, especially the first 10-15 minutes when it's quite hectic and the football isn't always the best. It's about getting into the game, keeping your cool, and trying to play as normally as you can.

"In the build-up to the game the players have to stay focused and concentrate on what you do in the squad. You don't read the media too much — and I can imagine nowadays with social media that it's harder to stay focused on the game.

"Guys like Kenny Miller will be important. I've been really impressed with him. He's a calming presence in the team — the way he drops deep means he's very difficult to mark and he makes those late runs into the box. He's still a great finisher and he's really stepped up for Rangers since Martyn Waghorn got injured. He has scored a lot of goals at a time when there was a real worry about where the goals would come from."

As alluded to be Johansson, Miller has stepped up his game for Mark Warburton's side since top scorer Waghorn picked up an injury in mid-February, and the 36-year-old has found the net six times in his last nine appearances.

The man who scored 11 goals in 46 games in just over a single season for Celtic is expected to start in attack again for their rivals as Rangers look to make a statement of intent at Hampden Park.

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