Rangers duo striking all the right notes - Miller and Boyd on course for a title-winning tally

When Rangers last won the SPL title in 2005, Dado Prso and Nacho Novo shared the goalscoring burden as they hit the net on 45 occasions.

When Celtic claimed three-in-a-row last May, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's header against Dundee United took his joint tally with Scott McDonald to an impressive 51 strikes.

Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd

It takes two to tango: Rangers fans will be hoping Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd can fire their side to the title.

So, while comparing the current Kenny Miller-Kris Boyd pairing at Ibrox with the lethal double act of Ally McCoist and Mark Hateley might be seen as more than a bit over the top, Rangers fans are watching the present incumbents' goal return with keen interest.

Miller's return to the firing line paid off with a double at Forfar in the Scottish Cup on Wednesday and raised his personal tally to the slightly more respectable figure of nine goals since his arrival last summer from Derby.

Combined with the prolific Boyd, the pair have struck 32 times this term and look more than capable of taking that haul to at least 40. Whether they can elevate their tally towards 50, however, could depend on Kyle Lafferty and the vagaries of manager Walter Smith's selection decisions.

Rangers have 15 games remaining in three tournaments and that will be raised to 17 should they reach the Scottish Cup Final.

Boyd's performances since he pulled the plug on a £4million transfer to Birmingham City have been a bit flat and less than eye-catching; and he was far from happy when replaced by Lafferty on Wednesday night.

Mark Hateley (left) and Ally McCoist celebrate with the trophy.

Mark Hateley (left) and Ally McCoist formed a lethal partnership at Ibrox.

It now remains to be seen who will be handed starting shirts against Kilmarnock at Ibrox tomorrow, but Forfar striker Derek Lilley insists three isn't necessarily a crowd. And he's adamant Miller, Boyd and Lafferty can all chip in with more goals as Rangers chase a domestic treble.

'Kenny is always a danger, even when he is not scoring,' claimed veteran Lilley, who watched the Scotland international end a worrying nine-game scoring drought in Angus.

'He is very lively and his movement can be frightening for defenders. That's a massive part of Kenny's game and it is the constant running that gets him his chances.

'He was clinical against us in the Scottish Cup. Kenny stuck two chances away and that's what Rangers want from him.

'I think he can have a massive role to play for Rangers as they chase three trophies. 'Everybody knows that Kris Boyd will score goals. One look at his record would tell you that.

'Kenny will work so hard to complement his strike partner and they can be a really dangerous pair when they are both on form. You always back Boyd to score but Kenny can take chances, as well.'

If Miller and Boyd are presently regarded as the first-choice pairing, particularly for Ibrox fixtures, then Northern Ireland international Lafferty is slowly winning over some of his doubters after a slow start to his SPL career.

Nacho Novo and Dado Prso

Nacho Novo celebrates with Dado Prso

Scott McDonald (front) and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

Scott McDonald (front) and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink celebrate

He has now scored five goals since his summer arrival from Burnley and the 21-year-old has featured more in his favoured central striking role of late. After coming on against Third Division part-timers Forfar, he set up two late goals for Spanish winger Aaron Niguez and Miller, impressing former Dundee United and Livingston striker Lilley.

'Rangers had Lafferty and Aaron Niguez to come on to give them more firepower once Boyd went off,' said the 35-year-old. 'The Spanish kid has a lot of pace and has something to offer, in terms of an extra attacking option.

'Lafferty is a handful for defenders. He's a big, strong lad and is not slow. He looks very mobile and I think he will cause people problems.

'It looks as if he is settling in now. He still has to learn a wee bit more about Scottish football - then I think he can make a real impact.

'So Lafferty gives the Rangers management more choice and I've no doubt he will score a lot of goals for them over time.'

As Rangers look to bank the goals in their chase for success, Forfar's significant consolation, of course, was the £82,500 cheque from Sky TV coverage. However, Lilley was disappointed by the nature of their cup exit.

'I feel as if we went out with a wee bit of a whimper,' said the striker, who headed back to work at a chocolate factory down south yesterday. 'Rangers did not have to work quite as hard for their goals as we would have liked.

'In general play, we worked as hard as we could and pushed them back at times. But we were a wee bit careless in terms of the goals we conceded. At 1-0, we had a good spell for part of the first half. We had a few free-kicks and corners and managed to apply pressure.

'We asked a few questions but the second goal took that momentum away from us and the red card for Elliot Smith's foul on DaMarcus Beasley then killed the game off.

'The heads did drop because you don't get many opportunities against the likes of Rangers.

'They were getting a wee bit ratty with each other at just 1-0 and, at that stage, you want to hang on and see if you can put a wee bit more doubt in their minds.

'But you cannot give Rangers chances like we did and get away with it.'