JOSH WINDASS reckons striker Kenny Miller is the ‘heartbeat’ of the Rangers squad.

The 37-year-old has returned to the first team fold in recent days after being dropped by boss Pedro Caixinha ahead of the trip to Hamilton last month.

Miller was sent to play with the Light Blues Under-20s against Brentford following a team meeting in the aftermath of the Old Firm defeat to Celtic.

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Read more: Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's Scotland seven have proved they can reach major finals in future

And midfielder Windass is eager to make the most of his time with the Ibrox veteran as he bids to improve his own game this term.

He said: “He has been training with us as normal, so nothing has been different around here.

“Kenny is the heartbeat of the squad. He’s got a good attitude, he trains like a top professional every single day. The lads bounce off him when he trains and try to follow his example.

“He has helped me a lot. He has given me advice if I’ve not played well.

“If I ask him what he thinks, he will always give me an honest answer. He’s been really good for me.”

Windass has made ten appearances for Caixinha’s side this term as he has held down a starting spot on the left of the Gers’ midfield four.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's Scotland seven have proved they can reach major finals in future

The 23-year-old endured a frustrating first campaign at Ibrox as he struggled for form and consistency following his move from Accrington Stanley.

But he hopes a new morning routine that sees him take to the Auchenhowie pool for a swim before training will help bring out further improvements this term.

Windass said: “I just started doing it this season. I’m quite tired in the mornings so I like to try and freshen myself up before training.

“I’ve come across this new way of doing that and I’ve just carried it on. It seems to be working out alright.

“I just come into the training ground a bit earlier and go into the pool. Davie Lavery isn’t too happy, because I’m making a bit of noise early in the morning, but it’s been good for me.

“I swim, stretch - just boring stuff, really. I come in just after 8am to do it. There’s nothing particular behind it, it’s just something I liked doing.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's Scotland seven have proved they can reach major finals in future

“Craig Flannigan has always encouraged us to go into the pool and stretch after training. I’ve started doing it before just to wake myself up more!

“It might help in terms of cutting out some of the short term injuries but I like to think I work hard away from football with the stuff I do, so I think it’s just a coincidence - but you never know.

“At Accrington, I was playing every single game and didn’t train as much through the week. But you train more here, as well as playing in the games, and that caught up with me a little bit last season. Everything seems to be alright this season.”

After coming from behind to beat Accies in their last outing before the international break, Rangers return to action tonight when they face St Johnstone.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers: Celtic's Scotland seven have proved they can reach major finals in future

The Light Blues are six points off the pace in the Premiership and Windass knows they need to start putting a consistent run together.

He said: “Since I’ve been at the club, it’s been a bit up and down. Obviously the Celtic game recently was disappointing, but we’ve had a few good results other than that and hopefully we can go to St Johnstone and put what we’ve been working on in training into practice.

“To achieve anything, you have to be consistent and win regularly. Hopefully we can start doing that and climb up the table.”

*Rangers Soccer Schools autumn holiday courses will run from October 16-20. For further information or to book a place call 0871 702 1972 or email soccerschools@rangers.co.uk.