KENNY MILLER last night warned his Rangers team-mates that there can be no further slacking as the battle for the Ladbrokes Championship reaches a crucial stage and challenged them to prove they possess the mentality required to secure a title.

The Ibrox side have won just two of their last five league matches with Miller particularly unhappy with the way they surrendered an early lead against Morton at home on Saturday and ended up scraping a 2-2 draw by virtue of a late equaliser from Martyn Waghorn.

The 35-year-old forward is concerned by the fact the gap between his own side and Hibernian has been reduced to three points and concedes that he cannot say with certainty that this team possesses the psychological resilience and the nous to emerge victorious from a long, pressurised campaign.

“That’s a question you can’t give a definite answer to,” he said. “Only time will tell.

“I know they have the ability.

“The manager, Davie Weir, Jim Stewart and the senior guys are doing what we can to make sure the right mentality is instilled in these guys because it’s a big, big part of a club like Rangers.

“You need a mentality that allows you to win 4-1 one week, back it up and go do it again and again after that.

“There can’t be complacency, relaxing. We have to keep striving to get better.”

Miller and the club captain, Lee Wallace, conducted an impassioned post-mortem with the squad in the immediate wake of the visit of Morton with the need for a relentless approach understood to be a central part of the discussion.

“It was part of it,” conceded Miller. “No disrespect to Morton, who I thought were fantastic on the day, but we should be winning those games at home.

“I feel that, when we went 1-0 up, it was the perfect start and we should have built on that and kept creating chances.

“There were maybe five or 10 minutes in which we did well and, then, in the last five minutes we had to push to get into the game.

“It was only then that we had a real urgency in our play and we could have nicked it in the end even if we didn’t deserve it.”

‘We always say get an early goal, but we got that on Saturday. For me, we then took the foot off the gas a wee bit.

“There might be a few things said that people don’t agree with, but it is about a team trying to find a way to improve. Meetings and analysis are a big part of how we are looking to move forward.

“In the last few weeks, our performances have been a bit down and that’s something we have spoken about quite a lot.”

Rangers face a difficult visit to third-placed Falkirk on Saturday before playing host to Hibernian on December 28. They would, naturally, prefer to be entering matches of such importance in stronger form, but Miller refuses to accept that Hibs manager, Alan Stubbs, has managed to get under their skin.

Stubbs stated recently that his players had wormed their way into the minds of the Rangers side thanks to closing the gap at the top of the table.

“It’s not accurate,” said Miller. “It’s part and parcel of the game.

“We are three points ahead of them. If we win every game, they can’t stop us and it doesn’t matter what they say.

“That is the mindset we have got. We need to try and win every game. Listen, it might not happen, but it could and we have to approach every game in that manner.

“Hibs haven’t surprised me. They are a good team.

“Don’t forget, they finished above us last season. They will have the same mindset as us.”

Miller has found sides adopting a particularly defensive strategy when facing Rangers in recent weeks, but he insists that cannot be used as an excuse for substandard results and performances.

“Teams setting up that way is not new,” he said. “Barcelona drew 2-2 (at home to Deportivo La Coruna) on Saturday and they are the best team in the world. You can have an off day when teams set up against you.

“We do have better players and have proved by winning leagues and cups that we are one of the better clubs in the country.

“We have to make sure that no matter how we play, we come through. We had too many guys off the boil against Morton.”

Miller has also welcomed the news that the Petrofac Training Cup final against Peterhead on April 10, 2016, will be played at Hampden Park.

“I’m delighted the final is at Hampden,” he said. “It should be a great occasion and it’s always nice to play at the home of Scottish football.

“This is our fourth go at the trophy and we need to make sure we win it this time.

“With everything going well, we will get promoted this year and this will be the last chance we ever get to win it. It would be nice to make it fourth time lucky.”