Martyn Waghorn struck his 21st goal of the season to wrap up Rangers’ stylish 4-2 win over Hibs at Ibrox last Monday. Now the striker is eager to add to his tally as he urges his team-mates to turn the screw on their title rivals by rediscovering the kind of early season momentum which saw them enjoy an eight-point lead at the top of the Championship at one stage.
As Rangers travel to face Dumbarton this afternoon, Waghorn insists he will have no difficulty in maintaining the same levels of motivation which underpinned the victory over Hibs at a sold-out Ibrox.
“I can understand why people might think it would be difficult to get yourself up for a game in front of around 2,000 people at Dumbarton in the same way as for last Monday’s game,” said Waghorn.
“But it’s not like that. For me, after I have scored a goal in one game, my first thought is to get another in my next one. It’s the same with victories.
“I’ve come to Rangers to be successful, to be the best I can be. I don’t want to ever think I can just turn up willy-nilly and just get the three points. It’s not going to be like that and I am pretty sure the boys all think that too.
“We know we have had a difficult few weeks before the Hibs win and we’re focused on not going through that again. We want to build the gap at the top of the league up to the way it was before. We all know what’s at stake and we have to prepare for that.
“I never felt this league was going to be easier, it was just that our form dipped recently. No matter who you come up against, they are good players and good teams who will cause you problems.
“Falkirk and Hibs have been on good runs themselves and if we drop points, they are there to catch us up. It’s been a dodgy few weeks, but the way we came back on Monday has given us a real positive outlook for the new year. We are going to have a lot of momentum for 2016.”
Waghorn admits he took added satisfaction from the victory over Hibs following the lengthy build-up to the fixture which saw several verbal jabs aimed at Rangers by their title rivals.
“It got us going a bit,” said the Englishman. “We kept quiet all week because we wanted to do our talking on the pitch and I think we did that with our performance and the way we conducted ourselves.
“It was a bit strange that Hibs were coming out with these comments and it just helped us get a bit more focused and determined to show everyone what we are capable of and what we can do. It shouldn’t really need people talking like that to get us going, but it was a big game and it was them who were doing all the talking.
“We had a couple of dodgy weeks beforehand and people were talking about a crisis, but we were always top of the league and we have only lost two games in the league, so it wasn’t the end of the world and we will be judged in May.
“To be honest, it’s just what Hibs do to try and get under our skins, they’ve done it every time we’ve played them in the league this season.
“I think we have been the better team, though, and that’s no disrespect to Hibs. They’ve got some good players but even when we went down to ten men on Monday we never looked like being in any bother. Our shape was strong and we were very solid. We were the better side on Monday and we are the better team overall – that shows with where we are in the league.
“Every team is going to have a dip and it’s how you react. They can say what they want. Whatever games they try and play, that’s up to them.
“We know we can beat anyone in the league and it’s three points and we move on. You’ve just got to take the comments on the chin.It’s up to Alan Stubbs what he says and if that gets his team going then he knows what’s best for his team. But it was a bit ridiculous in the last week or so before the game. I didn’t pay too much attention, I just wanted the three points.”