Kenny Miller insists he had unwavering confidence that Rangers would beat Celtic at Hampden last season - and he retains full belief in their potential as a squad ahead of the latest derby.
Much has changed since Rangers knocked Celtic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup on penalties at the semi-final stage.
The Ibrox side have struggled to regain last season’s panache after making 11 signings while the champions have made less changes but so far achieved better advances.
Rangers have drawn two of their first four Ladbrokes Premiership games and won the other two narrowly, but Miller’s belief in Mark Warburton’s managerial methods is unshakeable ahead of Saturday’s Parkhead clash.
The former Celtic and Scotland striker said of the semi-final: “I really believed, hand on heart, that we would win that game, and I thought we would have won it well. And I think the performance showed that, I really felt we deserved to win it.
“We have got a confidence, we have a confidence in what the manager wants us to do. We have just not put it together as much this season as last season.
“Whether that’s the increased level of opposition, or whether that’s trying to bed new signings, we have turned over 20 players in the last two summers. That’s a lot of lads to come in and gel. It always takes time, this season has just taken a little bit longer.”
When asked whether he had the same confidence this time, Miller said: “It’s a different challenge. When you play them at Parkhead, it’s a different atmosphere. Obviously the nature of the performances and results in the first four league games....
“Listen, you can look at a positive, we are unbeaten. If you had offered people that at the start of the season, unbeaten four games going into an Old Firm game, then I think you would have taken it.
“We are disappointed we have maybe not performed as well, but we are still going into it with belief in what we are doing.”
With Celtic scoring freely and looking imperious on the domestic front, Rangers fans are looking for their team to lay down a marker in the east end of Glasgow. But Miller does not feel they have anything to prove so early in the campaign.
“Whether we get the right result or not, for us it’s about going and doing what we can do,” Miller said. “If we can have a performance, sometimes you will win and sometimes not.
“You are never going to lose anything in September, you are never going to win anything. We want to win the game - end of story.”