Hearts boss Robbie Neilson predicts Rangers' target ahead of their Scottish Premiership return

The Scottish Championship side have already secured promotion to the top flight for next season.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has suggested that he expects Rangers to be looking to challenge for the Scottish Premiership title straight away when they return to the top flight next season, The Scottish Sun reports.

Mark Warburton's men have already booked themselves a place at the top table next year having wrapped up the Scottish Championship title in emphatic fashion.

And the man who led his side to that trophy one year ago has admitted that it will be great to have the Gers back in the top tier, and suggested what he expects will be their goal for next season.

"We already know how difficult next season is going to be with Rangers back up. We know they'll want to challenge for the title straight away," he told The Scottish Sun.

"That makes it more difficult for us. But we know we need to recruit well in the summer. We need to prepare properly and we will try and challenge as well. For us and for Scottish football, it would be great if we can get Rangers and Hibs back up."

Like the Light Blues look set to do this time around, the Jambos finished last season as the runaway leaders in the second tier, so they may well be acting as the inspiration for Warburton's men ahead of their first campaign back, especially given what Neilson's men have done since promotion.

They look set to finish the season in third place and qualify for the preliminary rounds of the Europa League next year. And while the Gers' stature and history - as well as their penalty shootout win over Celtic in the Scottish Cup - may mean that they set their sights slightly higher than third, the success that Hearts have enjoyed will give them a huge amount of encouragement. 

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