Monday, August 27, 2012

He may be plying his trade thousands of miles away from home, but Kenny Miller still has Scotland firmly in his sights and on his mind.

As the national team begin their latest World Cup qualifying campaign next Saturday, the 32 year old Scotland Captain still plans to play a key part in sending us to our first World Cup finals since France in 1998.

Miller is looking to add to his 60 international caps and 16 goals, and play an active role in Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers, but historically, when Scottish players make the move overseas, especially outside of Europe, they tend to get a little bit forgotten about by the Scotland manager.

A ten hour flight every few months could soon to start to take it’s toll on Miller, but for now he has no intention of stopping wearing the navy blue of Scotland, telling AFTN Canada that he "definitely" still wants to be involved with the national team:

"Obviously there will be conversations to be had with the manager with regards to the travel, which will be a lot more from what it would be from just going from down south.

"But I'm hoping to still play a part, a big part, in the World Cup campaign that's upcoming."

Has he spoken to Scotland boss Craig Levein about the move to Vancouver and how it might affect his future international career?

"I have had a conversation with him already and he's quite happy for me to play it however I want to play it."

And how he wants to play it is to continue to spearhead the Scotland attack.

This is great news for the Tartan Army on the one hand, but on the other, Miller's form has somewhat deserted him since making the move to Major League Soccer with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

He's played six games for his new team, starting the last three, and has only managed one shot on target. That shot did find it's way into the net in last weekend's 2-1 derby loss against Portland, but he has looked a shadow of the Kenny Miller we all know and love in a Scotland jersey.

Playing on unfamiliar turf pitches has been one factor, and Miller has struggled with how the ball runs on the surface, but he has admitted he is disappointed with his current form and he needs to snap out of his lull soon.

Kenny knows that this will be his last chance of playing in the World Cup, and with some of the up and coming striking talent maybe not quite ready to be the figureheads of the current campaign, and others like Steven Fletcher not likely to return to the international set up, there is a lot of pressure and expectation on the shoulders of Miller.

The future may lie with the likes of the impressive Jordan Rhodes, who Miller describes as "a goalscoring machine", but he needs a fit and fully firing Kenny Miller alongside him to bring him on.

A whole generation has grown up not knowing the joys of watching Scotland play in a World Cup and another tough group and campaign lies ahead.

Can Kenny Miller and the rest of the Scotland team do what their predecessors have failed to do in the last three campaigns? We'll get our first insight against Serbia next Saturday.

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