MARK Warburton has played down the significance of the League Cup game against St. Johnstone at Ibrox tonight and insisted his Rangers side would be "faring well" if they were playing in the Premiership.

Warburton’s team has won their first seven matches in the Championship – a run which has seen them move seven points clear of Falkirk at the top of the Championship - and their opening 11 matches overall.

Their ultimate objective this season is to secure a place in the top flight and the third round tie against Tommy Wright’s team this evening is being seen by many as a barometer of how good this group of players is.

But asked if the match would show that Rangers were capable of playing in the Premiership, Warburton said: “I think the players know that. One game won’t change that.

"You can’t build your self-belief from the first day of pre-season training and have it broken on one result. We know we’re a good squad, not in an arrogant way, and we’re confident in our ability. We look forward to such challenges.

“It’s just another challenge. Going to Dumbarton is a challenge, going to Alloa is a challenge, going to Dumbarton in January will be a challenge and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, but it will be and we’ve got to rise to it. One game won’t be a barometer for us.”

Warburton continued: “I think Hibs are a very good team. St Mirren had just come down from the Premier League when we played them as Ibrox and they are a team that’s keen to do well.

“I don’t think the gulf between the Championship and the Premiership in Scotland is as big as the gulf down south. That’s purely because of the financial climate.

"The team at the bottom of the Premier League this year gets £100 million. That tells you everything about the financial situation.

“The gulf between the top four or five Championship teams in Scotland and the Premiership teams is far narrower.

“I watch what I can. I record games and watch them. Of course there’s a difference. You look at the likes of Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts and they are tremendously talented teams.

“But at the same time we are performing well too. We’ll find out soon enough, I hope, but I don’t think the gap is as wide as down in England. I think we’d be faring very well.

“It’s all hypothetical, but I think we are a good squad, technically sound, physically strong, we have good tactical awareness and a strong mental belief.

‘I think the fact we have won 11 games on the spin tells you they are mentally strong. So in the four key areas we’ve got good quality.

"I’m not saying we are the best or anything like that only that we are in a good position right now and we want to keep on building from here.”