PEDRO Caixinha promised the Rangers supporters better times ahead after being mobbed by celebrating fans even as the Ibrox side finished the season 39 points behind historic rivals Celtic.

The Portuguese was surrounded by an exuberant 20-strong group of fans on the track at the full time whistle at McDiarmid Park yesterday, who chanted and took selfies with him after Rangers closed out their 2016-17 campaign with a 2-1 win against their fellow Europa League qualifiers St Johnstone.

While he refused to comment on speculation that the club could recruit Aberdeen's Ryan Jack, Bruno Alves from Cagliari and Hearts' Callum Paterson in the next few days, Caixinha said he was building a "totally new squad" for the new campaign, with players set to return for pre-season in just a fortnight's time ahead of their first European qualifying tie on June 29.

Read more: St Johnstone 1 Rangers 2: Joy and relief as Rangers bring curtain down on campaign with a winHeraldScotland: Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha is mobbed by Rangers fans after his side's 2-1 victory following the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at McDiarmid Park. Picture: PA

Whether they are celebrating silverware this time next season remains to be seen but the Portuguese expects them to be more competitive than they were in the season just past.

"I’m a guy of the people, I like to enjoy these times with fans," said Caixinha. "For sure I hope there will be more success for them in future. We have the best fans in the world. It’s true results have been irregular but we’ve just finished our fourth game away from home and our away performances have not been that bad.

"We have four competitions to fight for [next season] and we will see," he added. "The first rule is to build a squad and the second step is to create a winning mentality and the third is to put it into practice in the games. But I want to win all the time. We are going to have a strong and competitive team that is going to please our fans and the history of this club."

The win featured teenage academy products like Jamie Barjonas and Aidan Wilson - while Kyle Bradley made his debut from the bench - but Caixinha said that the youngsters will be supplementary to his first team squad next season.

Read more: St Johnstone 1 Rangers 2: Joy and relief as Rangers bring curtain down on campaign with a win

"We are building a totally new squad and they will stay with us when we need some sort of players," said the Portuguese. "They are not going to be part of the squad, but they will be there if we need them for the training sessions or the matches." One man who won't be in contention for the club's initial Europa League qualifying ties in Danny Wilson, who is not expected to return from a knee injury until August.

Rather than delay his arrival from Qatari side Al Gharafa till the summer, Caixinha believes that getting to Scottish football early has given him a head start for next season. "I’m definitely glad to have had an overview in the last two months," he said. "One of the main reasons we came to the club early from Qatar and and why Rangers had to pay for us to come was to assess and make decisions. That was really important. If we could not have arrived two months ago and would only have arrived at the end of the season it could have been different, but now we have made decision and are working on the next steps."