HUGH BURNS has backed Pedro Caixinha’s business in the transfer window and insisted Rangers are considerably stronger than they were last season, while also predicting a concerted challenge on all fronts this term from his old club.

Caixinha managed to ship out 11 players and brought in 12, most of whom, in the view of Burns, are an improvement, while his net spending was around £5million.

The defence is stronger, the spine of the team is better, the midfield options are more varied and up front there is a striker who looks like he will score every week in Alfredo Morelos.

Burns knows that some Rangers supporters want to wait until at least the first third of the season is completed before completely buying in to it all.

But the 1980s Ibrox star feels they will be pleased with what develops because he is backing Caixinha to lead a concerted run of success in the coming months.

Burns said: “When you analyse the squad this season you ask yourself, ‘Is it stronger than recent seasons?’ and the answer is most definitely yes.

“I think the players that Pedro has brought in are better by far than what we have been watching over the last few seasons.

“And I think you can see the progression now. I think the team is taking shape and I don’t think they are far away.

“Hats off to the chairman and the board for backing the manager because I think we can all see that Pedro’s signings have been strong.

“[Bruno] Alves is different class and [Fabio] Cardoso looks good beside him. [Daniel] Candeias is bombing up and down the right and Morelos really looks the part up front.

“The only problem now is that people will start sitting up and taking notice of him now, especially if keeps scoring regularly – and I think that he will.

“I’m certain he’ll bag 20-25 goals this season but he is more than a predator. His touch is good, he can hold it in and he’s brave too.

“Fair play to Jonatan Johansson for making Pedro aware of him and pushing his case.

“[Eduardo] Herrera got his first goal up at Dingwall, too, which was good, and while he and [Carlos] Pena need games, hopefully their quality will come through in the next few weeks.

“I don’t think there is much wrong with the team. And I believe the atmosphere is good among the squad, so it’s all positive.

“In my view, John Beaton cost Rangers three points against Hibs and then Hearts just came and sat in for a point – so they could be five points better off.

“But that’s why the weekend before the break was so important. All of sudden Celtic dropped two points and Rangers got the win they needed in Dingwall.

“I think if Rangers beat Dundee next weekend and then get positive results in the double-header against Thistle, then their confidence will grow ahead of the Celtic game. I think this team is capable of going on a good run.”

Rather than paying Hearts an inflated fee for Jamie Walker, Rangers have opted to offer the player a pre-contract agreement in January in order to sign him next summer for free.

Meanwhile, they secured loan deals for Declan John from Cardiff City and Aaron Nemane from Manchester City and Burns believes they could both prove to be real assets.

He said: “The signing of Declan John might just inspire the captain so that he can kick on again. Big Lee has not really had anyone pushing him for the position.

“There is no doubt that Wallace is a good player and I think Bruno Alves is making him better, and the arrival of a bit of competition can take him further.

“He will thrive on a bit of pressure. He’ll be telling Pedro Caixinha. ‘Okay, you’ve brought someone in but he’s not getting my jersey’.

“John looks as though he has a good background and he’s got Championship experience so there is no reason he can’t play at Scottish Premiership level.

“You never know, they might both play on the left side in certain matches. In fact, the left side of midfield is definitely still up for grabs. Windass started the season well but there is not the same chemistry on the left as there is on the right.

“You can see the way [James] Tavernier and Candeias are communicating and operating on the other side and it’s more productive than the left side.

“Nemane is also an option for the left side and while we don’t know too much about him, he has not been at Manchester City if he can’t play.

“The youth system there is first class so he will undoubtedly have a good pedigree.

“If he can make any kind of similar impact to that of Patrick Roberts across the city then Rangers will have really won a watch.”