Steven Gerrard frustrated despite Rangers' return to the top

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was in no mood to celebrate his team's return to the top of the Scottish Premiership as he bemoaned their lack of a '˜killer instinct' in the 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies at Ibrox.

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Rangers 1 - 0 Hamilton: Candeias goal sends Rangers top of the table

Gerrard was left exasperated by Rangers’ failure to turn their dominance of the contest into a more convincing scoreline. They now top the table on goal difference from Kilmarnock but Gerrard is keenly aware significant improvement will be necessary to mount a sustained and credible title challenge.

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“I’m happy with the win and the clean sheet but we’ve got a lot to learn in terms of the performance,” said Gerrard after Daniel Candeias scored the only goal of the match after just three minutes.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS

“We put 22 corners in today and over 30 crosses. We created enough opportunities and got into some really exciting areas of the pitch. But we had zero killer instinct today. That’s a concern.

“I’m not really interested - with all due respect - in being top of the league right now. We were top of the league two weeks ago, then went and lost and drew our next two games.

“So what’s more important to me now is what we can learn from the performance. It’s blatantly obvious we have to learn to kill teams off in the final third.

“It was frustrating because we have to put teams like Hamilton away. A lot of our game was good today. Out of possession we were really good. Going forward, we were wave after wave after wave.

“But when we got to the final part of the pitch, we lacked that bit of magic - that final pass, that incredible cross. We lacked that player who is going to step up and kill the game off.

“We should have had the game won in the first 15 minutes. I should have had the luxury of being able to take players off the pitch and give them a rest before Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday, which is going to be a tough game.

“What I had planned in my head, I wasn’t able to do with substitutions because we made such hard work of winning a game which should have been a lot easier.”

Hamilton manager Martin Canning reflected ruefully on his team’s poor start at Ibrox and admitted they deserved nothing for their efforts.

“It was a horrendous start from us and we were nervy,” said Canning. “We were much better in the second half and it was a more competitive game. It wouldn’t have been a deserved point in terms of them dominating the game but in terms of endeavour and work rate to stay in the game, it would have been a good point.”