Davis backs fit-again striker
Rangers' Steven Davis has backed Nikica Jelavic to fill the void left by Kenny Miller's departure.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 19/01/11 3:17pm
Rangers midfielder Steven Davis has backed Nikica Jelavic to fill the void left by Kenny Miller's departure for Bursaspor.
Miller has agreed personal terms on a £50,000 per-week deal with the Turkish outfit, meaning the two clubs just need to agree a fee for the Ger's top scorer to join their Champions League opponents on a two-year contract.
In Miller's absence, Walter Smith's men managed to beat Inverness 1-0 on Tuesday night, with Davis scoring the only goal to narrow the gap on leaders Celtic to two points with two games in hand.
Jelavic made his first appearance after three months out with an ankle injury, impressing off the bench.
And Davis believes the return of the Croatian striker, signed from Rapid Vienna in August, will soften the blow of losing Miller.
"Getting Nikica back is like having a new signing," he told the Evening Times. "I am sure that with a couple of games under his belt he'll soon be back to his best.
"I don't see why he can't replace Kenny. He came here and found his feet really well. He had four goals from his first seven games and looked like he was going to be a really big player for us.
"But then picked up the injury and has been out for three months, so it is great to have him back and looking so sharp and hungry."
Miller has bagged 21 goals in 18 league games this season and Davis admits no-one at Ibrox wants to see the 31-year-old leave.
But Miller was out of contract in the summer and had offers from Birmingham and Fiorentina before being swayed to Bursaspor.
"Every one of the players would like Kenny to stay," said Davis. "He has been a big asset with the number of goals he has scored, but obviously Kenny has to do what is right for himself.
"Only Kenny really knows the situation and even that hasn't been the case all the time with moves being on and then going off."
Tuesday's victory was Rangers' third straight win and saw them keep a third straight clean sheet for the first time this season.
"It was important that we kept our run going," added Davis. "We have a couple of tough games coming up with Hearts and Hibs in the next two fixtures.
"You would always rather have the points on the board than be chasing, but Inverness have always been tough opposition for us and you can see what a well organised side they are so we are pleased to have got the win.
"Plus we have cut the gap on Celtic to just the two points and still have the two games in hand and we have to make the most of that."