DAVE KING thinks Rangers have a squad which could be comfortably in second place in the Premiership.

Asked if the team were where he had expected them to be at this stage, he said: “On a specific basis, no, but I see in a certain sense, yes, as squad-wise, Mark has a team that could be sitting in a strong second place had the Aberdeen game gone the other way.

“Given he has done that with, I don’t want to say squad players, but he certainly hasn’t had key resources available.

“I would have liked us to be a strong second at this point in time whereas we are still fighting for second place, but that’s me looking at the longer point of view.

“From a squad point of view I think the work Mark has done with the squad and the work he will do in the January transfer window; I think we are about where we should be.

“The clubs that have a bigger budget should have a better quality of players, and Celtic have had a bigger budget.

“I did expect us to me more competitive, and maybe that’s just the artificial euphoria of the semi-final last year which gave us a gloss where maybe we felt we were a little bit closer than we really were.

“I think that gap that truly does exist is more apparent this season, and it shows the gap we must bridge to be truly competitive against Celtic.”

King also marked European football as vital to the club in both a footballing and commercial sense.

The Chairman knows how big the financial boost to the squad would be if the Gers secure competition outside of domestic action.

King remarked: ““I think it [European football] is critical.

“If our ambition was to be a strong number two club then we would always be one given our resources.

“Even at the current level they are way beyond what is available to Aberdeen and Hearts, but that’s not our ambition – our ambition is to be challenging Celtic and to be the top club in Scotland.

“You can’t do that without competing in Europe, not only from a team competition point of view but in terms of the revenue streams too.

“The budget you have available is completely different if you are playing in Europe as opposed to just domestic competitions.”

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