MARK Warburton says he is delighted that Kenny Miller has signed a new one-year-deal and stressed he is integral to his and David Weir’s plans at Rangers.

The manager was keen to point out that the contract is solely playing based but Miller can still continue his coaching role with the under 20 team in his spare time – so long as it doesn’t impact his football.

According to Warburton the 35-year-old, who has made 200 appearances for the Light Blues, plays a special role in his dressing room, acting as a mentor to the young squad.

The manager said: “This is a playing contract. Kenny is doing his coaching qualifications and doing great work with our under 20s and gaining invaluable experience…

“but have no doubts, Kenny has earned this contract from a playing perspective.

“From the first day of pre-season he developed a real desire and a passion to help take the club forward and he’s made a very positive contribution both on and off the pitch.

“His seniority within the squad is very important, his knowledge and his experience are special when we have such a young squad and have recruited young players and have taken in young loan players too.

“The experience of the likes of Kenny, Dean Shiels and Lee Wallace, as captain of course, is invaluable.

“So he has a key role to play on and off the pitch and I am delighted to have Kenny accept this new contract offer.

“David and I are thrilled to have him commit to the club for another year and I hope very much that Kenny feels a bit part of what we’re doing going forward.

“We’re looking forward to him making a very positive contribution to the club’s development in the coming months.”

Miller has been assisting Ian Durrant with the under 20 side since September as he works towards his coaching badges.

His manager doesn’t want to see him hanging up his boots anytime soon but does think his side-line shows what an exemplary professional his striker is.

Warburton continued: “Kenny is very much part of our plans going forward, while he has a very bright future as a coach this is a contract he has earned as player.

“He’s played a key role in terms of his attitude, performances and in a mentoring role to the younger players.

“His coaching shows his good use of time management but his absolute focus is to be fit and well for first-team duty.

“Any spare time now he is committing to broadening his coaching experience and gaining valuable information in terms of delivery of sessions and appropriate content of sessions.”

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