MARK Walters believes that finishing best of the rest must be the minimum requirement for Rangers under Pedro Caixinha next season.

For all the fighting talk about mounting a genuine title challenge to Celtic at the start of this campaign under Mark Warburton, the Ibrox side failed up to live up to those targets and overhauling the 36-point gap to their city rivals in just 12 months already appears a daunting task.

Walters feels that a more realistic approach for Rangers next season is to bolster their squad sufficiently to claim second spot from tonight’s visitors Aberdeen - they have already been linked with at least two members of the Dons’ squad in the form of midfielders Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean - and only then can they start targeting Celtic.

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“I watch them [Rangers] all the time,” said the former Aston Villa and England winger, back at Ibrox for a Show Racism the Red Card event. “They haven’t done as well as I would have liked. I was hoping for second place this year but they will have to settle for third. They will be back in Europe next season so hopefully they can start again

“They definitely need a few additions to the squad,” he added. “Finishing third is disappointing but with a few new faces they should get second easily enough and then they can start challenging for top spot. But it will be hard given the money Celtic have. Someone told me they got £7 million for one game against Barcelona. So it will be hard but with the right strategy everything is possible.”

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Walters was disappointed with the way things ended under Warburton. “Last season they played good football, had a nice system and kept the ball,” he said. “It was surprising it didn’t turn out better for them. Maybe they were a bit too predictable. A lot of teams set out to nullify them. At a club like this second isn’t good enough so something had to give. Unfortunately it was the manager.

“I always believe football goes in cycles,” he added. “It is the same for my old team Aston Villa – they are in a lull right now. Rangers are starting to pick up again and they are back in the big league. Next season second has to be the minimum and then progress from there.”