IT wasn’t quite the perfect week for Rangers. Steven Gerrard was rightly satisfied with their performances and their results, though.

Three matches in a seven day spell – at home to St Mirren and then away to Aberdeen and Kilmarnock – had the potential to make or break Rangers’ season.

The gap to Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Premiership remains at six points, while their Scottish Cup dreams are still alive as the Gers and Kilmarnock get set to do it all over again.

The first match of a huge hat-trick was taken care of with relative ease, although the controversy from the victory over the Saints continues to linger. As does the fallout from Wednesday’s win at Pittodrie.

Rangers were denied the services of striker Alfredo Morelos as a result of his red card against the Dons and the Colombian was undoubtedly a miss at Rugby Park as this fifth round tie ended in a stalemate.

Now Gerrard will wait to discover if he will have Allan McGregor available for selection for the next two matches as the keeper prepares to learn his own disciplinary fate.

And the 38-year-old won’t be the only one at Ibrox that will be keeping a close eye on the actions of Compliance Officer Clare Whyte following the nasty and dangerous challenge that saw Alan Power catch Ryan Jack in the head with a high boot.

The fact that the Killie midfielder was only shown a yellow card for the incident quickly became one of the main talking points from a match that was competitive but never really got going like many would have expected beforehand.

It was Steve Clarke’s side that enjoyed the better of the first half but Rangers who had the best chance after Kirk Broadfoot handled a Scott Arfield shot and referee Alan Muir pointed to the spot.

The miss from James Tavernier – his effort well saved by keeper Daniel Bachmann – didn’t prove costly for Rangers as Killie failed to capitalise. It was as close as Gerrard’s side would come, though, as an opportunity was undoubtedly missed.

Rangers had more control of the game after the break but chances were still sparse and when Jermain Defoe pulled a late effort wide of target on the angle, it was clear it was going to be one of those days for the Light Blues.

“James has been really, really strong from the spot and he has got the courage to step up and take it,” Gerrard said. “He is disappointed himself, but what I am pleased about is that he never let it affect his performance.

“I thought his performance was very strong on the night considering he had the disappointment of missing one.

“When I analyse the game, I think we lacked a bit in the final third maybe, Jermain got that one chance at the end but I would like us to provide that little bit more invention in the final third.

“Defensively, we were very strong, besides one goalmouth scramble. I thought we were perfect and that is what we asked.

“We said before the game at a clean sheet, minimum, keeps us in the cup. We came here to win the game and unfortunately we couldn’t do it.

“In terms of the performance and the outcome, I am pretty satisfied.”

A lack of guile and nous in the final third was the main concern for Gerrard as Rangers failed to get the best out of Defoe and didn’t threaten Kilmarnock often enough.

After the exertions of Wednesday night, it was perhaps no surprise that Rangers looked somewhat laboured at times. They might not have won it, but they certainly didn’t deserve to lose it.

The defeat at Rugby Park last month saw Gerrard’s side undo their good work from before the winter break as the gap that was closed with an Old Firm win was immediately reopened.

The response since then has been what the Ibrox boss would have asked for, though, even if Rangers did just come up short on their return to Ayrshire at the weekend.

“It hasn’t been a tricky week, it’s been a hell of a start, a tricky start,” Gerrard said. “You think about our league fixtures, coming here away on turf, Livingston away on turf, Aberdeen away, playing on a pitch like Cowdenbeath.

“We have had a tough start and then having to come here tonight, again on turf, on the back of Wednesday night. That is the reason that I am satisfied.

“At times you have got to take into consideration what the players have been through, but now we have got a run of fixtures, some at home, and a replay in the cup.

“The players have got time to recover from this game and we will get ready for St Johnstone.”

Rangers will step back on the road to Hampden a week on Wednesday when Kilmarnock make the trip to Ibrox and the teams meet for the fifth time this term.

But it is the Premiership title race that is the main focus for Gerrard and his players once again this Saturday when St Johnstone are the visitors.

There are just five league fixtures remaining before the Old Firm do battle once again and Rangers can ill-afford to fall further behind Celtic at the top of the table.

Last week was an overall positive one for Gerrard. Now, he needs several more as Rangers’ ambitions are shaped over a crucial run of fixtures.