Kenny Miller backs former club Celtic to progress in Europe

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland
Interview - Scotland striker Kenny Miller

Scotland striker Kenny Miller believes his former side Celtic can reach the Champions League quarter-finals if they can maintain their European home form.

The Scottish Premier League leaders will discover who they will face in the last 16 when the draw is made in Nyon on Thursday.

"If you look at the record at Parkhead it has been a daunting place for the best clubs in Europe," said Miller.

"They will fancy their chances whoever they get at Parkhead."

Miller, 32, joined Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps last summer and he told BBC Scotland he has been impressed by what Neil Lennon's team have achieved this season in Europe.

On Celtic reaching the knockout stages, he said: "It's a fantastic achievement. When the groups were drawn a lot of people would have written them off.

"They were within a second of getting a result at the Nou Camp [against Barcelona], which would have been a great result.

"Overall the campaign has been great, they were consistent throughout.

"If you look at the record at Parkhead over the years it has been a daunting place for the best clubs in Europe - AC Milan, Manchester United United and Barcelona have come and left with nothing.

"They are three of the biggest teams in Europe. If they have left empty handed, there is no reason why anyone else can [win there]."

Miller also starred for Rangers across two spells and he reckons manager Ally McCoist has done an "unbelievable" job at Ibrox in difficult circumstances.

The striker said: "Coisty's done a fantastic job. He has managed the club through one of their darkest hours and they have come out of it fine.

"They are in the Third Division but there is no doubt they are going to come back through.

"I went to the Peterhead game. You can't speak highly enough of the fans, there were 48,000 there that day.

"The support they are giving the team is fantastic.

"For a Third Division game it was incredible. The fans realise it is going to take a few years to rebuild and to be back to the top."

In a later BBC Radio Scotland interview, Miller said that ending his second spell at Ibrox for a move to Turkish side Bursaspor in January 2011 was his biggest regret.

And Miller, who has scored 17 goals in his 65 appearances for Scotland, is keen for the Scottish Football Association to appoint a replacement soon for sacked manager Craig Levein.

Listing Gordon Strachan, Owen Coyle and Kenny Dalglish as possible candidates, he said: "Whoever comes in, it will be great for the players to work with a manager of that stature.

"The boys just want it resolved so we can get down to work with him.

"You saw the qualities Gordon Strachan had when he came to Celtic. He had a fantastic four years there and brought a lot of success, with some progress in the Champions League also.

"He definitely has the qualities to manage at the very top level so international management might be something he is interested in."

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