KENNY MILLER was fighting back the tears last night after helping Rangers confirm their resurgence with their first Old Firm victory since March 2012.

The veteran striker latched onto a Scott Brown mistake to steer in the opening goal as the Ibrox side racked up their first win against their bitter rivals since a 3-2 win in Govan in March 2012, and said the victory belonged to the players, coaches and supporters who had all contributed to bringing them back to the big time after the financial struggles of the last four years. Having been withdrawn from the fray immediately before the start of extra-time, Miller admitted that the penalty shoot-out, which Rangers eventually took 5-4 after the 120 minutes had ended 2-2, had been an ordeal.

"I think that is the most emotional I have ever been after a game because I knew what it meant to the players, the coaches, the manager, the fans, to everybody at the club who have put in a lot of effort to get us back on track," said Miller. "For me it was a fantastic day. I have never really felt like that. I have always been one for celebrating and being happy, but today was emotional for me at the end.

"It was great to be involved in. It is right up there. It was torture, just torture. You are hitting every ball, header, clearance. We got there in the end.

"There is no point in beating Celtic in the semi-final, though, and then not going on and winning it. We need to go on and win it now."

With most observers making Celtic strong favourites for the match, Miller said that Rangers had proved they were more than a match for their city rivals on any given day. He stopped short of predicting they would also recapture the Ladbrokes Premiership title next season, but said they would have no fear about stepping back to the top flight. The players were unsurprised by how well they had performed on the day and there was no prospect of anyone resting on their laurels under Mark Warburton. Accrington Stanley duo Josh Windass and Matt Crooks will be only the start of their summer recruitment drive.

"Obviously, there was a lot of talk before this game about how far we are behind, but I thought we showed today that we are more than a match for them," said Miller. "Listen, we will add new faces. That is just the nature of it. We have said all season that we are looking to strengthen, we are looking to get better.

"We don’t fear going up next season, and we don’t think we can’t challenge.

"A one-off game like a cup semi-final is a completely different case, compared to a 38-game league season, so only time will tell if we can match them over that course and distance. But I thought we thoroughly deserved it today."

Warburton's tactics worked a treat as Rangers' central defenders bravely played the ball out from the back in the face of a high-pressing game from Celtic.

"We imposed our game on them from the first whistle, we passed it well, and we got our rewards with the first goal," said Miller. "We knew they still posed a threat, they’ve got good players, but we showed that we’ve got good players too, and we knew that we could nullify them.

"The manager has done a lot of talking this week about how it was just another game and that we should go out there and play the same way, that nothing should change in that regard," he added. "We knew that we would have to run harder, faster and longer, but we knew that if we did the right things we could cause them problems and get opportunities to score, so the game went pretty much how we thought it would go."

So euphoric was the mood as Rangers celebrated with their supporters afterwards that you almost had to remind their players that they had yet to claim any silverware. They will return to this stadium in May to take on Hibs with a victory sufficient to seal the club's return to continental football and Miller insisted they must now see this Scottish Cup run through. They get a dry run against Hibs on Wednesday night and Miller is determined that they should maintain their standards. Cup-tied players such as Michael O'Halloran and Billy King could return for that match, while Martyn Waghorn may be fit to play in the final.

"We’ve got four league games left, and a cup final," said Miller. "We've got to focus on those games. We want to win every game, go into the cup final in good form and win the cup. Both teams know each other well, we’ve played each other many times this season. But it is another game we think we can win."