Miller targets Europe with Hibees

22 January 2010 01:10
It has been four and a half years since Republic of Ireland midfielder Miller last played competitively against a club from the continent.

Until recently, it looked a foregone conclusion that the 28-year-old would be making his Europa League debut next season, with Hibs flying high in the SPL.

But one point from the last three games has seen them lose their top-three spot to Dundee United, while arch-rivals Hearts have closed the gap on fourth - the division's final qualification place.

Former Celtic and Manchester United starlet Miller therefore knows it is vital Hibs return to winning ways against Hamilton on Saturday.

"It's a big three points for us,"he said.

"We know we need to win the game to keep the pressure on United and the boys at the top."

Miller last played in Europe when he came off the bench in Manchester United's 3-0 Champions League win at Debrecen in August 2005.

"It would be great to finish third and obviously have the Europa League," he added.

"We'll see what happens.

"It would be great for the club and hopefully we can achieve that."

But Miller admits Europe was not the first thing on his mind when he joined Hibs in September following his release from QPR.

"I think the main thing was the league,"he said.

"Having said that, there are still a lot games to be played and I think third spot is still a realistic one."

In fact, Miller believes Hibs are perfectly set up to qualify for Europe season after season.

"I don't see why not,"he said.

"You look at the facilities and the stadium, and obviously the manager they have here now, and they've got everything on board really.

"The squad's decent as well so I don't see, personally, why not.

"I'm sure that's where the manager wants to take it."

Boss John Hughes - who was today linked with a move for Preston defender Michael Hart - was one of the reasons Miller elected to try to resurrect his faltering career at Easter Road.

"I didn't know him but I knew of him through a friend and he had really good things to say about him,"he said.

"Having seen that first hand now, I'm just really pleased I came."

He added: "I'm obviously playing every week over here, great bunch of lads, I enjoy playing for the manager and he's got a great set of staff there as well.

"So, personally, I've really enjoyed it."

Miller insists it was not inevitable Hibs would suffer a blip after going on a 12-match unbeaten run in the SPL.

That sequence began after they lost 2-0 at Hamilton in September, which infuriated Hughes.

Miller said: "It was a tough game that day.

"Obviously, we didn't play well and we got punished.

"We'll just have to make sure that doesn't happen on Saturday."

Asked if revenge would be a motivating factor tomorrow, Miller replied."Of course - it wasn't nice losing to them.

"But we have a chance to turn that around now at home and hopefully we'll take advantage."

Source: Team_Talk