FORMER Rangers star Craig Paterson has told Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha to forget trying to stop Celtic winning 7 in a row next season and instead turn their attention to overtaking Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen as the second force in Scottish football.
The big defender, who spent 4 seasons at The Gers in the early 1980s can see some parallels between the situation Rangers currently find themselves in and the time when he played at Ibrox.
“Looking at this Rangers team and the one I played in is like comparing apples and oranges,” Paterson told The Herald.
“At that time we not only had the threat of Celtic but also two terrific sides in Aberdeen and Dundee United who were winning titles and competing in European finals. So that was a problem for us that the current Rangers side isn’t having to face. But it is unusual seeing them back in the Premiership again but not really competing at the top. On that front the parallels are a bit more obvious,” stated Paterson.
“The question for Rangers now is: do you try to kick-start something or do you overhaul things completely?
“Because one can be done on a budget and the other one would take substantially more money. Rangers will always be compared to Celtic but I wouldn’t even like to put a figure on just how much it would take to close that gap,” he continued.
“I don’t think anybody out there foresees that kind of money being forthcoming.
“What Rangers have got to do is keep the fans on board.
“They’re still getting 50,000 every second week at Ibrox in what has been a disappointing season as the supporters would have expected to see the team finishing closer to Celtic,’ believes Paterson.
“And, based on budgets, they would also have thought Rangers would at least claim second spot and that’s probably not going to happen either.
“So I think the key thing for Rangers in the summer is to demonstrate to their fans that there is progress being made.
“I’m sure they will still renew their season tickets as they have done over the last few years when Rangers have needed them most. But they’ll be looking for good news to come out the club just to give them fresh hope going into the new campaign.
“The gap between Rangers and Celtic is so vast that it makes more sense to look at Aberdeen as the more immediate target.
“And that won’t be easy either as they have made great strides under Derek McInnes,” said Paterson.
“He’s built a good squad there, one that has reached both cup finals this year. Overhauling them won’t be easy for Rangers but they have to at least try to show next year they can be the best of the rest.”
Former Rangers player McInnes, who has taken Aberdeen to both Cup Finals this year and has seen his team build up a commanding lead of Rangers in the fight for second place in the Premiership, was linked with the Ibrox job, before Caixinha was appointed.