Rangers hero Derek Johnstone suggests how much strengthening Mark Warburton's squad needs in the summer

The Light Blues are well on course to book their return to the Scottish Premiership.

Rangers legend Derek Johnstone believes that Mark Warburton will need to make five or six signings in the summer, and they all need to be players that are ready for the first-team, the Evening Times reports.

The Gers are in a commanding position at the top of the Scottish Championship - they sit 14 points clear of Hibernian with just nine games to go - but Johnstone suggested that the club will need to be very busy at the end of the season if they hope to challenge at the right end of the table next year.

"When we are back in the Premiership, we have to perform and the manager will know that. He is well aware of the quality that is there and what he will need to bring in during the summer," he told the Evening Times.

"Like the manager, the board will know that we need five or six players to come. It isn't people who will sit on the bench, we have got plenty of people to do that.

"We need better players if we are to challenge in the Premiership and everyone is aware of that and the directors and investors will need to back Mark in the transfer market again."

While promotion is not assured just yet, their strong position at the top of the second tier is certainly a blessing for Warburton, as, while he will not admit it, it will allow him to turn his attention towards next season, and perhaps draw up a list of targets that he hopes the board will be able to bring in once the campaign is over.

And while Johnstone questions whether their current squad will be able to challenge, Warburton will surely take great encouragement from the way the side have managed to create such daylight between themselves and their title rivals, as well as the way that they have achieved that while also competing in the business end of the Scottish Cup.

And with many of that current squad arriving during the last summer window, Johnstone will be hoping that they can have a similar amount of success this time around as he believes that is what is going to propel them back towards the summit of the game. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch