Rangers won the Scottish Championship title with ease during the 2015-16 campaign and will feature in the Scottish Premiership next season.
The Gers will compete with Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish top flight, and many Ibrox faithful will want Mark Warburton’s side to aim for the league title.
The recent signing of former Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton on a free transfer suggests that Rangers are planning to at least give it a go.
Former Rangers forward Hateley believes that the Gers need to be realistic about their chances of winning the Scottish Premiership title next season.
The former England international believes that Rangers should be aiming for a trophy and for an European spot in the league table, not for the title.
Hateley, who also played for QPR and Portsmouth among other clubs, believes that taking the title away from Old Firm rivals Celtic would not be possible for Warburton’s team.
"I think it will be a big step, I really do,” Hateley told The Daily Record when asked if Scottish Championship winners Rangers could repeat last season’s league victory in the top division.
"The importance for Rangers in their first season back should be one trophy and a European spot. That would be high up on the list. But I think a championship would be a big ask.”
Hateley has also given some advice to the current Rangers squad on how to cope with the pressure of facing Celtic in the Old Firm derby.
The Gers will take on Brendan Rodgers's side at Celtic Park on September 10 in the first Old Firm derby of the 2016-17 Scottish Premiership campaign.
"They have to go out and enjoy it,” Hateley told The Daily Record regarding advice for the current Rangers squad on the Old Firm derby.