Former Rangers defender Dave McPherson has urged the club’s supporters to rein in their expectations for next season after insisting that success will not be delivered overnight.
McPherson is delighted with the direction his old employers are going in after manager Mark Warburton and Davie Weir delivered a convincing Championship triumph last season.
The high-profile arrivals of the likes of Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar has enhanced the excitement engulfing Govan and left the fans with the genuine belief their team can stop Old Firm rivals Celtic making it six-in-a-row.
Fans have snapped up over 42,000 season tickets for the forthcoming campaign but McPherson, who played for the club for nine years across two spells, is refusing to get carried away.
He said: “I still think it’s going to be a long road for Rangers and things won’t happen overnight for them.
“They are heading in the right direction. The priority was to get back to the top flight.
“You have to say they did a fantastic job last season although the fans will be looking for that extra step.
“Over 42,000 season tickets have been sold but the fans shouldn’t forget where they were three or four years ago compared to where they are now.
“Rangers have always been a progressive club, they’ve had a few bad years, but fans look for success and I think things are moving on at last.
“The fans have stuck behind the club and will continue to do so in the future.”
McPherson will reserve judgement on the new recruits until the end of the season, admitting that it may take time for the likes of former Queens Park Rangers midfielders Barton and Kranjcar to bed-in.
McPherson, who is keen to see how Rangers fare in competiive action for the first time this term in Saturday’s Betfred Cup clash at Motherwell, added: “The manager has signed some really good players and he’s certainly added experience to his squad.
“Of course, all these players will be judged at the end of the season rather than at the beginning.
“It will be interesting to see how they all settle in and that’s what makes Saturday’s match intriguing.
“There will be a lot of responsibility on Barton just in terms of what he’ll bring to the team.
“He’s played in the Premiership and he’ll bring a bit of enthusiasm to the team.
“I think, however, he’ll need a solid temperament too.”
McPherson has also welcomed Warburton and Weir’s decision to sign new deals that run until summer 2019.
He added: “That’s a massive signing and I think it’s great because at last there’s a bit of continuity at the club.
“David Weir signing too was a big deal and it shows that on and off the park things are at last moving in the right direction.”
But he will not lose any sleep over striker Martyn Waghorn and defender James Tavernier’s decision to knock back contract extensions.
He added: “You just have to get on with it. You realise now that players hold a lot of the ace cards and but, having said that, Rangers are one of the biggest clubs in the world to play for and these players know that.
“There’s plenty of other players out there and if they don’t want to sign for Rangers then I’m sure they’ll be replaced.”
*Dave McPherson was speaking at a BT Sports media event at South Queensferry. BT Sport will broadcast live footage of Rangers’ match against Motherwell.