Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was not fooled by the three-goal winning margin over Hamilton, admitting that the 4-1 victory at the Hope CBD Stadium “flattered” his side. He also made it clear that their display will not be good enough to have them competing for the title.
However, he hopes that finally winning away from home in the Premiership will at least remove that monkey from their backs.
“Performance-wise, we weren’t at it today,” said Gerrard. “We weren’t great but I’m pleased with the three points and the result because all the talk before the game was about our away record and how we hadn’t had a win for eight months. The points were the most important thing for me but I wasn’t pleased with our display, to be honest.”
Rangers almost had victory snatched away ten minutes from time when Steven Boyd’s sensational equaliser cancelled out Ryan Kent’s opener. However, two late penalties by James Tavernier and a stoppage-time Alfredo Morelos goal sealed the win.
When it was suggested that his players had shown character to respond to Hamilton’s goal, Gerrard replied: “Is that the word you’d use? I think we were actually frightened when they equalised – that basically gave us the rocket we needed because, at 1-0 up, we were too casual and I didn’t feel comfortable on the sidelines.
“I always felt that they were going to have one opportunity or one decision that could have proved costly in terms of that win slipping from our grasp. But their goal scared us a bit and that sparked us into life. We then went on to win comfortably but 4-1 flattered us.”
Midfielder Jordan Rossiter, making only his eighth start in three injury-ravaged seasons, was considerably happier.
“I feel good but I know I still have a long way to go,” he said. “That’s my first 80 minutes of the season in the bank.
“It’s been tough. I played against Hibs in the last game of last season and then I suffered an ankle injury over the summer which was a setback. You start to think you’ll never get back to being involved with the first team but I’ve now managed to do that.”
Hamilton manager Martin Canning was unhappy with referee Andrew Dallas’s performance. “It sounds strange to say when you’ve lost the game 4-1 but we could and probably should have won that,” he said. “It’s a sore one. “In the first-half, it’s a penalty for us. Mikel Miller cuts inside James Tavernier and he gets held back. If that’s anywhere else on the park, 100 per cent you get a free-kick.”