STEVEN GERRARD admitted Celtic’s dramatic late defeat against Kilmarnock gave Rangers a massive boost before they faced St Johnstone at Ibrox yesterday.
The Liverpool legend then saw his side wallope the Perth outfit 5-1 – their biggest win in the top flight since May 2012 – and move into second place behind Hearts who also dropped crucial points with a goalless draw against Livingston.
Gerrard watched his team run amok with goals from skipper James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Kyle Lafferty and Daniel Candeias and he said: “The results over the weekend – not just Celtic, but Hearts as well – gave us a bit of a spring in our step.
“When we are presented with opportunities like that we have to make sure we’re ready to pounce. That’s especially if we’re off the top.
“Any time someone above us drops points, we have to capitalise on that and I thought we did. We were very strong and played some really good stuff.
“At times today we looked really dangerous going forward and could have scored a couple more goals. We rattled the woodwork a few times, but that’s the way we’ve got to be at home. When teams come here we’ve got to give them a difficult 90 minutes.
“I thought we were very good, especially on the back of a tough night last week in Spain.
“It was the exact performance I was looking for. I thought we were ruthless at times and played some stunning football, scoring five very, very good goals.”
UP FOR THE CUP…Alfredo Morelos will lead Rangers against Ayr United. Pic: Geo.
Gerrard, though, was not entirely please, especially with Blair Alston’s late spot-kick consolation goal for the visitors.
He added: “The only fault is with the penalty at the end where I think we got a little bit sloppy in the last 10 minutes. But, all in all, I’m very happy.”
The Ibrox outfit are five points adrift of Craig Levein’s Tynecastle side and the teams will go head to head in Glasgow in a fortnight’s time.
Gerrard has now switched his focus to the home Betfred League Cup quarter-final against Ayr United on Wednesday and added: “We won’t be getting carried away. I knew the opening four games of the season would be tough they way the fixtures fell.
“I looked at these two home games against Dundee and St Johnstone and, with all due respect, I was looking to take maximum points and we have delivered on that.
“Now it’s about getting into a semi-final of the Cup and then getting ready to go to a different kind of test at Livingston and making sure we are strong.”
Colombian frontman Morelos will lead the attack against the Somerset Park outfit in midweek with Lafferty Cup-tied.