Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas believes the Scottish game is going to be stronger without Rangers in the SPL this season.
The Tynecastle skipper says the motivation of running along with runaway favourites Celtic will spur more clubs on in the Scottish game this season.
Zaliukas lifted his first silverware as Hearts captain back in May but, with Rangers set to play in the Third Division this season, the extra incentive it offers to the top clubs outside the Old Firm will make retaining the trophy even more difficult.
The Lithuanian international defender said he was looking forward to an interesting campaign.
He said: “I think it’s going to be harder because it’s wide open and everyone’s going to want to achieve [silverware] so it is very interesting.
“I think everyone is going to want to compete with Celtic and it’s going to make for a stronger league and I hope it is going to be a very good season for us.”
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