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NACHO NOVO insists a gruelling pre-season training schedule still isn't enough to dampen spirits in the Rangers squad after last season's SPL win.

Walter Smith's players were put through one of their toughest sessions yet at Murray Park this morning as they build their fitness ahead of the new season.

But Novo says the players are relishing the challenges they're being set by head of sports science Adam Owen as they crank up their preparations.

The Spanish striker was speaking as he promoted ticket sales for the home friendly with Manchester City next month at Ibrox.

A match date is yet to be confirmed but it will take place on either August 4 or 5, with the latter more likely given Celtic will be in Russia for a Euro qualifier that midweek.

Novo said: "It's nice to be back at Murray Park again and be in amongst all the boys but training has been very hard so far.

"The sessions have been difficult and every single player always struggles at some point at this stage.

"But that's what this part of the campaign is for and we are looking forward to playing games again.

"After last season and the way we finished, our spirits are still very high and we are looking to take that into this coming season.

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