THE achievement can be consigned to the record books. It will never lose prominence in the hearts and minds of those who created history and wrote their names in Ibrox folklore.

For a decade, the mantra of ‘Going for 55’ became a way of life for Rangers managers, players and supporters. Now the focus is on a new target as Steven Gerrard’s champions prepare for fresh challenges at home and abroad.

The balance of power has shifted in Scottish football and across Glasgow. Rangers were once playing catch up, but today they welcome the chase.

"Last year hasn’t gone, last year is history," Gerrard told RangersTV after his side returned to pre-season training ahead of the new campaign.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

"We have created history. It will never go, it will be there for the rest of our lives. The players have done ever so well.

"You don’t achieve something so big and it doesn’t just vanish and people forget about it, but we are well aware that the language of 55 has to stop now and we need to move very swiftly on to 56 to try and achieve that.

"We have to work even harder to achieve that because the challenge is going to come from different teams all over the league.

"We are going to be the team that is hunted now rather than being one of the hunters, so it changes, the mentality needs to change and we need to keep and maintain our standards that we have shown over the last twelve months, and even turn the dial even more and turn the heat up even more. We need to add to it.”

That process started long before the Premiership title was finally secured as Jack Simpson and Nnamdi Ofoborh arrived from Bournemouth and Scott Wright was signed from Aberdeen.

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Fashion Sakala will join the champions in the coming days and Rangers are on the brink of another addition as preparations for the new campaign continue to gather pace and momentum.

Gerrard added: "We are actively working ever so hard to bring some good players in alongside the recruitment that has already been done in Jack, in Scott, in Nnamdi and obviously Fashion Sakala will join us in the coming days.

"We have got some passport and Covid issues to get through first but he is very excited to join us as well. The squad is in good shape, it will be better in the coming weeks when we add to it.

"It is a very exciting time, but I think the message to send to our supporters is that myself and the staff, and everyone around this group of players, is that we are going to push them even harder than we have done before to make sure that we try and add to the success. But 55 hasn’t gone, it is history now and it is fantastic."

The summer break gave Gerrard and his players a chance to reflect on the enormity of their success and the coming months allow Rangers the opportunity to celebrate every other achievement on their illustrious honour roll.

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Rangers will become the first major European club to reach the landmark of their 150th anniversary and these are unique moments for everyone associated with the club.

Gerrard said: "Listen, it is a fantastic time to be involved at this football club, whatever department you are in.

"We achieved last year’s success all together, it wasn’t just about the players, although they were obviously the main reason why.

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"But whatever department you are in at the club, whether you work at Ibrox or work in the ground staff, the kitchens, the media, whatever department you work in, you have played your part to help this club become successful.

"The timing is excellent because we are going into such a special year, the 150th year.

"For a club, an establishment, to be around for that long deserves an awful lot of praise and credit.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

"I am ever so proud to be the manager of this team and this club right now and we want to make the 150th year even more special than it is by making sure that it is a success on the pitch because that is what football is all about."

The quest for that next title will begin at the end of the month as the league flag is hoisted at Ibrox and Rangers return to Premiership duty against Livingston.

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A meeting with Partick Thistle on Monday begins their pre-season fixture schedule. It could be the start of another special season for a support and squad still intoxicated by their most recent glory.

Gerrard said: "You don’t change a winning formula, all you do is try and add to it, try and tweak.

"I am sure every player has analysed and reflected on how it has gone, the journey so far.

"It is all about what happens moving forward and in the future. I don’t see any point in getting too far ahead of the next game so the important thing right now is the next four, five weeks in terms of getting through the pre-season friendlies and everyone needs to get through healthy, in a good place and as fit as they can and be ready to go.

"But the most important game on my mind right now is Livingston. Obviously the Champions League qualifiers.

"But Livingston is the priority right now, I need to make sure that we have got a squad of players all ready, firing and hungry to go and get the first three points of the season."