Rangers realise gulf with Celtic but will still target title, says Lee Wallace

Rangers captain Lee Wallace with the Scottish Premiership trophy
Lee Wallace says Rangers are under pressure after their Europa League exit

Lee Wallace says Rangers will again target winning the Scottish title while respecting the gulf between themselves and Celtic last season.

Rangers finished third, 39 points behind as Celtic retained the title.

And they have already exited the Europa League, beaten in the opening round by Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg.

"Our mindset won't change as Rangers players and that's to win every single game - and win every competition that we enter," said captain Wallace.

"Obviously we take last season into consideration. We are well aware of the task and we are well aware of how far off it we were."

Rangers begin their second season back in the top flight under Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese manager who succeeded Mark Warburton in March and has made major changes to his squad.

And Scotland left-back Wallace believes that a better title challenge is a must for the Ibrox side.

"Irrespective of signings, irrespective of the cost, that has to be the aim for us," he said.

"We have to obviously recognise what happened last year and be realistic about things, but it's not going to change our focus as Rangers players.

"We can't settle for any less than that, it has to be the target.

"If we approach every game with that mentality, we will definitely finish off stronger than we did last season."

Kenny Miller (centre) celebrates scoring for Rangers against Sheffield Wednesday
Kenny Miller (centre) scored in a 2-0 friendly win over Sheffield Wednesday

Wallace agrees that their early European exit has placed added pressure on Caixinha and his side as they prepare to start the league season away to Motherwell on Sunday.

"Absolutely, there is always going to be pressure watching Rangers, even if it's a friendly," he said.

"It just becomes the norm and it's about how to handle that and how to respond to situations like the European exit.

"We have managed to do that. We are feeling good.

"We recognise it's going to be a difficult game, they have some momentum from their League Cup campaign, but we are going to go there and try to win the game."

Wallace believes that friendly wins over Watford and Sheffield Wednesday, plus a draw against Marseille, have boosted confidence.

"We suffered a humiliation in the European campaign, but it was about how we responded to that and, more so in the last 10 days, there's definitely been a bit more positivity generated amongst the players and a bit more belief," he said.

"We are still learning about each other and gelling as a team, but there has certainly been a better end to the pre-season than we started and we are all raring to go next Sunday."

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