Jason Holt has warned Hibs there will be no let-up from Rangers as they close in on a return to top-flight football.
Former Hearts midfielder Holt has been an influential figure in a dominant Championship season for the Ibrox club who notched up their 22nd win in 27 league games so far when they defeated Raith Rovers 2-0 on Tuesday.
Coupled with nearest rivals Hibs slipping to a third successive defeat at Queen of the South, it stretched Rangers’ lead at the top of the table to 14 points with nine games remaining.
It leaves the Easter Road side hoping for Mark Warburton’s men to suffer a similar slump in form to the one they are currently experiencing if the battle for the title and automatic promotion to the Premiership is to be genuinely renewed.
But Holt, who collected a Championship winners’ medal following Hearts’ equally relentless charge to the title last season, is adamant Rangers will offer no fresh encouragement to Alan Stubbs’ side.
“We won’t switch off at all,” said the 23-year-old. “Since day one, the gaffer and the coaching staff have stressed to us that it’s about one game at a time and that’s the way we’ll take it.
“It was a professional performance against Raith. We controlled the game for large parts and we got our rewards.
“We just had to do our job. we can only concentrate on ourselves and try to win every game. There are nine league games left now, but it will still be the same manner in which we approach every game. That’s to try and win them and get three points.”
Rangers are potentially just five wins away from clinching the title but their focus will be diverted this weekend by their Scottish Cup ambitions as they welcome Dundee to Ibrox for an intriguing quarter-final tie.
Holt, who has contributed nine of the 99 goals scored by Rangers in all competitions so far this season, is optimistic they can break through the century barrier against their Premiership opponents.
“We’ll go into it confident we can get that 100th goal and win the match,” he said. “In recent weeks, we’ve not won games by as big margins as we were earlier in the season.
“Teams are coming to Ibrox, or wherever we go to play them, and making it difficult for us. But if we just keep doing the right things, the things we do in training all the time, then eventually we will get our rewards. We have managed to do that most of the time.”
Having initially signed a three-year contract with Rangers last summer, Holt has since been rewarded for his consistently impressive form with a new deal which runs until 2020.
“I’ve enjoyed the style of play here,” he said. “When the gaffer came in, he planted the seeds for the style and formation he wanted and I think it suits all of the players in the team. It is free-flowing football most of the time and I know the rest of the boys are also really enjoying it.”
Holt’s own performance levels have led to him being promoted in some quarters as a candidate for one of the two Scotland squads Gordon Strachan will name next week for the challenge matches against Czech Republic and Denmark at the end of this month.
But Holt, capped five times at under-21 level, insists he has not given the prospect of a senior international call-up a moment’s thought.
“No, not at all,” he said. “My full focus is on Rangers at this moment. We’ve some big games coming up, so I’m just concentrating on them.”