ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes has warned champions Celtic and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers his team will be up for the fight in the new season.
The Hoops are still in talks to sign £7million-rated striker Odsonne Edouard, from Paris Saint-Germain, while the Ibrox squad could have a radical revamp with midfielder Scott Arfield and former keeper Allan McGregor already signed.
But McInnes insisted defiantly: “There will be a perception we will be swept aside next term.
“When Rangers first came up, we were told they would be way ahead of us. Many were expecting us to be pushed to the side this season, but we weren’t.
“We are not perfect by any stretch, but we are trying to compete with clubs that are miles ahead of us financially.
“It’s been getting more difficult, but it’s a challenge we are willing to take on.”
McInnes added: “I expect Hibs to improve and Hearts to maybe do the same.
“With Rangers, you would expect their improvement to be more each year if they make the decisions.
“From the outside, Gerrard looks a good decision because he is an impressive guy. If they get the funds and they use the funds wisely, then they should be 10 to 15 points clear of Aberdeen and Hibs.
“The fact we have done our job well this season gives us a lot of satisfaction.
“We will try to take good players in this summer to make sure we are just as competitive again.”