HUDDERSFIELD Town Jordan Rhodes looks set to start in the lone striker’s role in tomorrow night’s friendly against Australia at Easter Road after Miller was rested.
The 32-year-old Miller is embarking on a new role at Vancouver Whitecaps, a move perceived by some as him winding down his career.
But Miller has consistently stressed his continuing ambition to help Scotland reach a major tournament finals and Houston feels the former Rangers and Celtic man will be a key player in the Brazil 2014 campaign, which begins against Serbia on September 8.
Houston said: "Kenny Miller has done exceptionally well in the last qualifiers, and captained the team.
"We have to make sure we have players who can put Kenny under pressure.
"If Kenny is injured or not producing, then we have to find out who can take that role.
"But I think it would be wrong of us, because Kenny has gone to Vancouver that we rule him out."