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Rangers are a fitter side than they were last year, says Mark Hateley

The former Rangers striker is pleased with the progress under the new coaching staff.

Mark Hateley has heaped praise upon the job being done at Ibrox by Mark Warburton and David Weir in the Daily Record.

The ex-pro - who bagged 165 goals in 87 games for the Gers between 1990 and 1995 - singled out the improved fitness of the squad under the new regime – in what could be taken as a swipe at his former Rangers strike partner Ally McCoist.

In quotes published by the Daily Record, Hateley said:

“It was refreshing to see a young, energetic side on Sunday against Peterhead and it is a team that will definitely get better.”

“The fitness aspect caused a scratching of heads last year. You would have expected the team to be super fit but they didn’t seem to be and were leggy late on in games.”

McCoist’s Rangers stuttered around Christmas last year and two defeats to main promotion rivals Hearts - in addition to an embarrassing loss to Alloa Athletic in the Challenge Cup – saw the Gers legend hand in his resignation.

Despite changing managers, Rangers were unable to escape the Championship but optimism has been renewed at Ibrox with the arrival of Mark Warburton.

Hateley believes the improvement in fitness is solely down to the new coaching staff, adding:

“It’s clear, and it’s clear to see what Mark and Davie Weir have brought. With the fitness levels you see right away what’s happening Monday to Friday.”

“That’s what Mark is too. He’s ultra professional. He had the same approach at Brentford. He and Davie will bring that with them,” said Hateley.

Rangers have enjoyed an excellent pre-season which has only served to increase the excitement levels further, ahead of the new campaign.

There is the sense that Warburton and co. are building a sustainable future - as well as a fruitful near-term - for the club, after what has been a tumultuous few years, to the say the least.

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