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The cup final is a bonus for Rangers, says Warburton

Rangers are on the brink of returning to European football, if they can beat Hibernian in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup final.

Ranger’s manager Mark Warburton has reiterated that tomorrow’s cup final against Hibernian is an unexpected bonus.

The former Brentford manager said that the aim for this season was purely on making a return to the Scottish top flight and to win the Scottish Championship, which they achieved with four games to spare.

And speaking to the Daily Herald, Warburton said that Scottish cup success, coupled with a famous win over Old Firm rivals Celtic in the semi-final, were enjoyable bonuses to an already successful campaign.

“It has to be said it’s a bonus. The main focus was always the title. All credit to the boys.

“We entered and wanted to win the Petrofac and in the Scottish we wanted to go as far as we can.

“I was delighted with the semi-final win and now we’re looking forward to Saturday.

“From where Rangers have been, the prize is now European football if we beat a very good opponent.

“And it’s also for the Rangers fans with the history and experiences of European football. They will be desperate to get those nights back again at Ibrox and if we can beat Hibs and give them that – fantastic.

“It was only – win the league. As simple as that. I’ve said that many times.

“The target was clear – beating Celtic and winning the Petrofac are enjoyable bonuses.”

Rangers last appeared in European competition in the 2011-2012 season, where they lost a Champions League qualifier to Malmo of Sweden, and then a subsequent Europa League qualifier against Slovenian side NK Maribor.

However, following their change in ownership after insolvency at the end of that season, Rangers have had to rebuild from the bottom of Scottish football.

But after four years away, the 54 time Scottish champions are now back in the big time, and they may now also be able to bring European football back to the Ibrox.

Hibernian, their opponents, suffered heartbreak last week when they missed out on promotion back to the Scottish Premiership against Falkirk,  who snatched a shot at the top flight from the Edinburgh club’s grasp with a stoppage time winner from Bob McHugh.

McHugh's goal meant Falkirk won the playoff tie 5-4 on aggregate, setting up a promotion clash against Kilmarnock, who will hope to avoid the drop from the top flight.

But despite last week's gut wrenching disappointment, Hibs will be hoping to end a 114-year wait for a trophy when they take on Rangers at Hampden Park tomorrow.

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