Rangers captain Lee Wallace is relaxed about Celtic counterpart Scott Brown’s assessment of their title credentials - but stressed that the Ladbrokes Premiership newcomers could not be more ready for the top flight.
Wallace will lead out a Rangers team in Scotland’s top division for the first time in four years when they host Hamilton on Saturday but Brown cited Aberdeen and then Hearts as the main challengers to Celtic.
In response, Wallace told Sky Sports News HQ: “That’s fine, this is the scenario we are going to be faced with. We are going to get that now we are back in the top flight, but we are ready for the challenge.
“We are going to make sure we are highly competitive, that we are the best prepared we can be every match, and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Rangers have made nine signings since winning the Ladbrokes Championship and manager Mark Warburton is still looking for a defender and a striker before the transfer window shuts.
They warmed up for the league season with an impressive Betfred Cup showing, scoring 10 goals without reply to top their group ahead of Motherwell.
But the defensive frailties that were exposed by Hibernian in the William Hill Scottish Cup final were still evident when Burnley won 3-1 at Ibrox in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
When asked if Rangers should be expected to mount an immediate title challenge, left-back Wallace said: “What you can expect is what Rangers always do. That’s to be highly competitive, to make sure we go into every game being hard to beat, playing the right way and make sure we can be the best we can every single time.
“That comes from how we train, that comes from our working week.
“There’s no doubt we have added well and no doubt we are training well, so preparations have been great and we’ll certainly go into every game hoping to win and making sure we are highly competitive.”