Terry Butcher says Rangers are not that far off Celtic's level

Rangers FC - Ibrox

The Old Firm pair face off in the Scottish Cup next month.

Rangers look like they are on their way back to the big-time after four years in the Scottish wilderness. The Glasgow club are well clear of the chasing pack in the Scottish Championship promotion race and look like making it to the Premiership again for next season.

The success at Ibrox has been largely down to the management of Rangers boss Mark Warburton. He has brought in some excellent players and introduced a new playing style which has seen the Gers flying high.

Rangers also remain in the Scottish Cup, where they will face a familiar foe in the next round. They will take on Old Firm rivals Celtic a month today on the 17th of April in the semi-finals of the competition.

The fixture will give Rangers a yardstick of comparison to their great rivals, who currently top the Scottish Premiership.

According to one former Rangers player, that level is not far apart.

Terry Butcher, who played at Ibrox for four years as a Rangers player, told Sky Sports News HQ (17/03/2016) that he believes Rangers are already closing the gap:

"They've got a lot of good young players there, a good shape to the team.

"Mark Warburton has brought in some good young players and players that fill positions well. (Harry) Forrester on the wing, he's got (Barry) McKay. He's got some really good exciting young players.

"Rangers fans will be optimistic. Because they'll say 'let's see how far we've come.' They played a couple of seasons ago against Celtic and Celtic won 2-0 but theoretically it was a walk in the park for Celtic then.

"I think Celtic have come down a little bit, as in the quality of their side, and Rangers are on the ascendancy.

"So I think it will be a lot closer. Then, when Rangers get into the Premiership, which they will do, then they have got to try and rebuild and get to Celtic's level. But Rangers aren't that far away."

Celtic have had a topsy-turvy season but the lack of real competition in the top-flight has certainly made them a little soft.

Hearts are back and Rangers are due for a return - with Hibernian also potentially returning the Scottish Premiership might be about to get exciting once again.

Butcher clearly feels that Rangers will be giving Celtic a run for their money next season.

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