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Marco Negri comments on Rangers upcoming clash with Celtic, top flight return

Former Rangers star says the cup match with Celtic is just the start.

Former Rangers striker Marco Negri has told Italian website Tuttomercatoweb he is delighted the club are back in the top flight of Scottish football.

Rangers clinched promotion from the Scottish Championship last night, recording a 1-0 win over Dumbarton to give them the three points they needed to make their long awaited return to the Premiership next season.

There they will renew rivalries with Celtic, who they face later this month in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and Negri has warned that this is just a taster of what is to come, insisting next season the battle will be for the title.

He said: "It is clear that for many Celtic is favoured, but at home Rangers the enthusiasm is very high. It will be a small taste of what will happen next year, when it will be worth the championship."

The two teams met last season in the cup, with Celtic winning comfortably, but this game could be different, with Rangers having an improved confidence and quality under new manager Mark Warburton.

Negri played for Rangers between 1997 and 2001, enjoying a prolific debut season where he scored 32 goals, before injury ruined his career at the club.

Now retired, he has not forgotten his spell at Ibrox, insisting he has never experienced at atmosphere like it anywhere in his career.

He said: "I had come from the Italian league, from Perugia in particular, where it is very fiery, but the fans of the Rangers is unbelievable, unmatched. Even during the friendlies, the atmosphere was indescribable."

Negri believes Rangers will not stop in their determination to get back to being top dogs of Scottish football, but also will aspire to play continental football too.

He added: "I'm sure, [Rangers] will not be satisfied with the promotion and will set up a good team: They now hunt a 55th title with a view to also return to Europe."

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