Neil Warnock believes clubs like Aberdeen are capable of eventually competing with Celtic and Rangers with the right collective approach.
The 75-year-old took interim charge of the Dons last week following the sacking of Barry Robson.
His first game was a 2-1 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox, with the former Premier League boss insisting the goals were avoidable.
It has been a tough season for Aberdeen who currently sit ninth in the Scottish Premiership with just six wins from 23 games.
However, ahead of his first home league game against Motherwell on Wednesday night, Warnock insisted leading clubs can bridge the gap on the Old Firm over time.
“I think it is possible to break into the big-timers, but I think it would take anybody time to do that,” he said.
“Having been here for two or three games now, I can see that some of the players under me are relishing the challenge up here.
“I think that’s the big thing for clubs like Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs who are challenging the top two.
“But I haven’t had much time to look beyond that. I have got enough to do in looking at my players and trying to get the best out of the group and deciding on who will play and who won’t play.”
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