Kenny Miller says he was “shocked” by Mark Warburton’s departure from Rangers and insists the players need to shoulder their share of the blame for his exit.
Rangers announced the Englishman, his assistant Davie Weir and head of recruitment Frank McParland had resigned last Friday, but the three continue to contest that they offered to quit.
Miller was stunned to see Warburton leave but admitted that results this term have hardly helped repair the apparent fractures between boardroom and boss, with the Gers now 27 points adrift of Celtic and third behind Aberdeen and he acknowledged that played a significant factor in the past week's events.
"I was shocked to see the manager leave given that we had left the training ground on Friday and everything was prepared for the cup tie against Morton," he said. "I've spoken to Mark since he left. We had a very good working relationship in the 20 months that he, Davie and Frank were here.
"He wished us all the best and we definitely wish him all the best and thank him for his efforts, as he has had a big role in the way this team plays. But we as players need to realise that we played a part in what's gone on here because we've maybe not performed as well as we could have.
"The lads in the dressing room are an honest bunch and realise at times this year we've not played as well as we could. That is showed up in the points gaps and that at the moment we are trailing Aberdeen in second.
"We've 14 games left and it's now about trying to put that right by securing second place and having as good a run in the cup as we can."
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Miller's Ibrox deal runs out at the end of the season and he has yet to be told if he will be offered fresh terms, but the 37-year-old insists he is happy to put his contract talks on the back-burner while the search for a new boss is launched.
"I've not thought about [his contract] too much over the last week," he added. "It's important that the club gets the management side sorted out first and gets the right man in charge.
"After that I'm sure they will get round to dealing with the lads. But right now, the contracts are secondary to finding a new manager."
The club's U20s boss Graeme Murty will lead the side in Sunday's clash with Dundee at Dens Park, live on Sky Sports 1, and Miller, who played with and against the former Reading defender, reckons the caretaker is the perfect man to lead the Gers forward in the interim period.
He said: "Graeme's been great. I've worked with him in having a small role with the 20s, and I know what he is about and I know him as a player as well as having played alongside him a few times.
"I was impressed from the minute he came in with the work he was doing with the 20s, and he has carried that on with the first team. He's been really clear on how he wants to work and what his thoughts and visions moving forward are. The lads seem to be responding so far.
"Obviously, the experience isn't there, but it's not showed at all. I can't speak highly enough of him and he has been thrown into the lion's den, but the job he has done so far has been great."