Rangers striker Martyn Waghorn has not given up on finishing in second place, despite Aberdeen stretching their lead over the Ibrox side to nine points over the weekend.
Derek McInnes’ team took full advantage of Rangers’ second consecutive league defeat the previous evening at Inverness to cement their place behind runaway leaders Celtic with a 1-0 over Ross County.
Waghorn’s 12th goal of the season on Friday drew Rangers level with Inverness, but, like caretaker manager Graeme Murty, he was horrified to see his side concede a late winner from Billy Mckay.
“I’m hugely disappointed and deflated,” he said yesterday.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow, but we have got to stick together. It is a frustrating time. We have got to get back to Rangers’ training ground and work hard.
“The only way we can get out of this is by working hard, staying together and trying to turn it around. It is only us who can do it. Nobody else is going to do it for us. It is up to us as players to take responsibility.”
With Murty likely to still be in charge, Rangers host St Johnstone on Wednesday night. It’s possible they could be 12-point adrift of Aberdeen by then, with the Pittodrie side travelling to face Hamilton Accies tomorrow evening.
Rangers’ next league match after Wednesday is a trip to face Celtic. But Waghorn insisted no-one at Ibrox is giving up on the fight for second place.
“Not at all,” he said. “We have got to play Aberdeen again twice. It is obviously not ideal them being so far ahead.
“ We have got a big challenge ahead of us, but we know what we have got to do. It is going to be difficult, but we can turn it around. We have got a lot of good players in the squad and a lot of belief. Never say never. We have got to just go again.”
“It is part of football,” he added. “It is all about how you respond and how you react to adversity.
“Listen, this is a difficult time. It is tough. But I can’t stress this enough, it is only us who can turn it around.
“We have to work hard on the training pitch and work off it together as a team. Doing it for the club is all that we can do.”
Waghorn denied uncertainty over the coaching structure and personnel is affecting the players, with reports claiming Rangers could appoint a new director of football by the end of this week.
“The players are together,” he said. “Obviously it is a difficult time not having a full-time manager, but we are still the same squad.
“Murts (Murty) knows the direction that we are going in. He has got everyone on board. “