Chris Sutton has suggested that Rangers' Scottish Cup final defeat confirmed that some fans were deluded for thinking that the current side were capable of winning the Scottish Premiership title in the wake of their semi-final victory over Celtic, the Daily Record reports.
Mark Warburton's men had already wrapped up the Scottish Championship title and had won the Challenge Cup going into their game against Hibernian earlier this month.
And having beaten their Old Firm foes on their way to the final, and having done it by largely outplaying the Hoops before knocking them out on penalties, it appeared that the Light Blues were soon going to be back battling at the summit of the top flight.
However, after Hibs claimed the trophy with a dramatic 3-2 victory, Sutton said that the cup final defeat confirmed that the Gers are still some way off being ready for that level - even with Joey Barton now in their squad.
"You only had to see last week’s cup final loss to Hibs to realise they are a long way from what is required in the top flight. While the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic brought a party for Gers fans, it did two other things," he told the Record.
"It showed Celtic they needed change at the top and it also deluded some fans into thinking Rangers could win the Premiership with last season’s squad.
"Last Saturday put that theory to bed and Barton is going to need Warburton and the Rangers directors to get a couple more signings of his ilk to offer some hope."
While Sutton is confident that Rangers are not ready to challenge Celtic, the cup final defeat may ultimately have a similar impact on Warburton to the one that the semi-final loss had on the Hoops in the retired striker's mind.
The loss highlighted the Gers' weaknesses so may have made Warburton's job of knowing which areas need improvement much easier, and may motivate him to work even harder in the coming months to ensure that they can mount the title challenge that some supporters had dreamed of after the semi-final.