ALLY McCOIST reckons there is little to choose between Rangers' Championship rivals and some teams in Scotland's top flight.

The Light Blues continue their bid for the second tier crown against Hibernian tonight with the two title hopefuls and leaders Hearts all finding the going tricky at times in the opening weeks of the campaign.

Robbie Neilson's side competed well with Celtic in midweek before losing their League Cup tie 3-0 at Parkhead, with Osman Sow's penalty shocker proving costly for the Jambos.

That result came days after Rangers beat Inverness Caley Thistle in the same competition and McCoist reckons teams in the Championship can mix it with some of Scotland's top-ranked outfits.

He said: "I firmly believe that throughout our league there is not a massive difference between our league and the lower half of the top league.

"I definitely think Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United are slightly but, on the day in a cup competition, I think most of the teams in our league would give any of the teams in the top league a good game.

"I think that game proved it. Although the 3-0 result sounds comfortable, and I thought Celtic played well in stages of that game, Hearts certainly had a couple of opportunities to make life very difficult for Celtic."

Rangers return to Championship business tonight after booking their place in the last eight of the League Cup with victory over Falkirk on Tuesday night.

The Bairns triumph earned them a quarter-final clash with St Johnstone as they look to take another top flight scalp this term.

McCoist said: "We feel, as I keep saying, that we have miles and miles to go but we have made improvements in the last 18 months and I would include us in the category of teams who would hope to go on a cup run.

"We got to the Scottish Cup semis last year, played well and got knocked out.

"We feel we are better placed this year with our squad to hopefully go on a successful cup run."