Rob Kiernan admits Rangers are already lured by the thought of returning to European football

The Gers defender says the club have aspirations of competing in the Champions League sooner rather than later.

Rangers defender Rob Kiernan has said that the club want to win the Scottish Premiership title for more than just silverware and bragging rights over Celtic, explaining that the Gers are targeting a return to Champions League football, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

Mark Warburton's side will return to the top flight of Scottish football after a four-year absence next season after winning the Championship title in style.

They remain on for a domestic treble after beating their arch-rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park earlier this month, adding to the Petrofac Cup they have already secured during a stellar campaign.

In Rangers' absence from the top flight, Celtic have been relatively untroubled at the top of the Premiership, winning the league title each year and enjoying the fruits of their success by playing in the Champions League on a yearly basis, to limited success.

The Gers have not taken part in European competition since being knocked out in the Europa League play-off round in 2011 after losing in the Champions League third qualifying round, but Kiernan has admitted that the possibility to returning to Europe's biggest stage is a huge motivation for the players.

The defender said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun: "In terms of next season it's going to be difficult. It's all right to perform against Celtic in a one-off game, but you have got to do that every week.

"I'm not saying we'll breeze it, but the Champions League is an aim and a realistic one. We have to have belief in ourselves, why can't we go and play in Europe? It's a challenge and you've got to challenge yourself."

Victory against fellow Championship side Hibernian in the cup final at Hampden Park next month would see Rangers enter into the second qualifying round of the Europa League, but the Gers are clearly aiming higher than just reaching Europe's second-tier tournament.

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