MARK WARBURTON insists there is still a gap between Celtic and Rangers – but it’s nowhere near as big as many pundits were suggesting.

The Ibrox manager was speaking in the aftermath of Sunday’s sensational and thoroughly deserved victory over Gers’ biggest rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and while lauding his side for their efforts, he insists there is still a long way to go to challenge Celtic on a more regular basis.

When asked about the victory, Warburton explained at yesterday’s press conference: “It didn’t tell us a lot we didn’t already know. The message to the players was to do what we do better, and to carry on playing the game the same way, to train the same way, to prepare the same way and eat the same way etc.

“We were playing the best team in the country so we had to do what we do better. What it told the wider country is that the gap between the top of the Championship to the top of the Premiership is far closer than many imagine, and some of the stories being written pre-game about cricket scores and drubbings were wildly inaccurate.

“We know, and common sense would tell you that there is a gap, and our job is to close it. If you look at the subs Celtic brought on – they are established international players.

“We recognise the gap that is there and we will add four, five or depending on whether we are in Europe or not, maybe six or seven, depending on the demands and do what we have to do.

“We are a good team and we are where we are in the Championship and deserve to be there. The players have won it convincingly and will go up full of confidence.”

Warburton also assured supporters that the process of recruitment for next season is already well underway: “That started weeks ago. We have started to identify targets, options in various positions and what the financial implications of each signing might be.

“That work has been going on for weeks and weeks under Frank McParland who I believe to be the best in the business.”

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