Mark Warburton: Promotion the priority for Rangers manager

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Rangers assistant David Weir and manager Mark Warburton
Rangers' new manager Mark Warburton (right) says winning the Scottish Championship is his priority
Scottish Challenge Cup: Hibernian v Rangers
Date: Saturday, 25 July Venue: Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC Alba; listen on BBC Radio Scotland; video and audio streams available on BBC Sport website

With Saturday's Challenge Cup tie at Hibernian representing the beginning of Rangers' competitive season, the campaign begins in earnest for new Ibrox manager Mark Warburton.

The former Brentford boss has brought seven players to Ibrox so far and will seek to get promoted to the Premiership at the first time of asking.

BBC Scotland canvassed opinion on the task facing the new Rangers manager this term.

Mark Warburton, Rangers manager

"The league is the dominant tournament. It has to be. Of course, it doesn't devalue the other tournaments we enter, but the focus for our season is to win the league. I'm sure every other team will say the same.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton
Warburton has been busy in the transfer market this summer

"We are fit and have a good shape, and hopefully we can take that further.

"My only focus is Rangers: where are we fitness-wise? Where are we quality-wise? Where are we in terms of pattern of play and bedding in a football philosophy? That's all I'm concerned about.

"The opposition is good quality and we are looking forward to the challenge but the focus has to be Rangers."

Ricki Neill, Rangers First supporters organisation

"What Mark Warburton has done in the short time he's been here, the players seem to be responding to his training.

Ricki Neill
Neill believes supporters have a big part to play for Rangers this season

"I think we'll see a different Rangers team on Saturday. I'm really happy that Mark Warburton is going with a lot of youth and starting with young defenders from 21 up to the average age of about 25.

"We've not got the experience that [former management team] Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall were using but we do need to start using the youth system.

"Hamilton Accies have a cracking youth system and, in their second last game last season, they had 10 boys who came up through the youth ranks.

"Rangers need to use some of the players they've got but also really concentrate on [the academy at] Auchenhowie.

Rangers players
Rangers missed out on promotion in last season's play-off final

"I know a lot of Rangers fans are asking, 'where's the money and where's the £20m that you were going to put in?' But [chairman] Dave King is a wise man and a very rich man.

"You're not just going to fling in £20m and say, 'there you go, go and spend it'.

"You need to build; the fans know we've got the right men on board and they're all Rangers men.

"Fans will be an important part of getting Rangers back to where they should be."

Douglas Alexander, Sunday Times journalist

"He'll be looking to get Rangers up automatically, there'll be no doubt in his mind that that's what's required.

Douglas Alexander
Alexander expects a Rangers and Hibs to battle it out for the title

"I think the template from last season of Hearts, who started very well and pushed on from there; were promoted comfortably and could build for the Premiership from there, will be the one he'll look to follow.

"The signings haven't been dissimilar - they've been young, hungry, fast players who will bring that sort of tempo to the club.

"I think Hibs will be the team that come closest to Rangers although I do expect, over the course of the season, Rangers to get the better of Hibs."