Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says he is being “proven wrong” in thinking his squad have the mentality to sustain a Scottish Premiership title push.
The Ibrox side conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 to Kilmarnock and slip 10 points behind leaders Celtic.
It is the third time Rangers have dropped points in five league games since the winter break.
“I thought we were in a better place than what we’ve shown over the last four-six weeks,” Gerrard said.
“I thought we had the mentality and the characters to sustain a push but on the evidence of the last four-five weeks I’m getting proven wrong.
“But having said that, it’s me as well because I’m responsible for that group of players.”
Asked where the defeat leaves Rangers in their quest for a first league title since 2011, Gerrard told BT Sport: “Very, very tough. You’ve got to look at the form of other people that are relentless right now.
“But we keep going and try to change the situation that we put ourselves in. There’s no denying they’re obviously in the driving seat.”
‘That’s not handball. It’s clutching at straws’
Scott Arfield’s spectacular goal had Rangers in front at the break, but Kilmarnock rallied in the second half and struck twice in the final 13 minutes.
There was some controversy around Stephen O’Donnell’s equaliser as the ball appeared to hit Rory MacKenzie on the arm, and Alfredo Morelos has a goal ruled out for a push before Eamonn Brophy lashed in the winner for Kilmarnock.
Gerrard said he believed Morelos’ strike was “legitimate” but dismissed the suggestion of handball.
“That’s not a handball. That’s us clutching at straws,” he said. “It’s a soft cross that’s going away from goal. The kid is about 5ft 7in and I’ve got three defenders going to try and clear the box and we don’t clear the box.”
Rangers face Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday with their title fate now out of their own hands.
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And after questioning his side’s ability to handle pressure, Gerrard also admitted he also had to take responsibility for the downturn in form in 2020.
“I put this group together. I coach them, they are my tactics and decisions. So I’m not going to sit here and try and force any blame in any other direction than myself,” he said.
“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating at the moment. We keep going, we keep fighting and see where we are. But on the evidence of the second half tonight, it’s very worrying for me right now.”
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