Stuart McCall has told his Sevco flops that Hamilton Accies are their benchmark.
Yesterday’s win for Hearts at Falkirk killed off any hopes that Sevco had of earning automatic promotion leaving the play-off’s as their only route to the top tier of Scottish football.
Defeat at Hibs today would virtually write off finishing second leaving last season’s unbeaten League One champions to negotiate through six play-off ties assuming that they hold on to claim fourth place.
New chairman Paul Murray expects to be challenging Celtic for the 2016/17 title but McCall has set his players a more modest target as they head for Easter Road.
“No disrespect, but look at Hamilton and Dundee coming up this season,” the former Motherwell supremo pointed out. “Hamilton were in the top three until they lost their best three players.
“Alex Neil, the manager, was the most influential player they had and they had Mickael-Antoine Curier and Tony Andreu. They were third and playing great.
“If we go up, I would say 100 per cent that it would not be a struggle. There would be momentum, there would be everything.”
As he attempts to gee his players up for a tilt at promotion the new Ibrox gaffer has admitted that most of his friends have told him that he has inherited a squad of duds!
McCall added: “I’ve got family and a lot of friends who are Rangers fans. If it was up to them, they wouldn’t have a team out there because everyone would be dropped.
“For example, Kenny McDowall tried all different permutations up front with our five strikers. If you speak to supporters they’re so frustrated and disappointed with a lot of things.
“People have said to me, ‘I wouldn’t have him, him or him in the team’ but that would leave us with about two players and I can’t flood the team with youngsters.
“My job is to get the best formula, a winning formula, out on the park. We’ve got time to do it and it’s what I’m striving for.”
Hibs are available at even money with most bookies to win today.