STEVEN GERRARD has expressed his delight with Rangers’ reaction in the last week after they responded to his criticism at Ibrox with two successive 5-0 wins over Kilmarnock and Hamilton.

The Gers boss was honest in his assessment of his players in the aftermath of the goalless draw with St Johnstone as they lost crucial ground in the title race.

But the response has been impressive from the Light Blues as they have progressed to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and got back to winning ways in the Premiership.

Gerrard’s side cruised to victory in Lanarkshire on Sunday as Ryan Jack, Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield, James Tavernier and Kyle Lafferty hit the target.

Gerrard said: “It is pleasing because we have been overly reliant on Alfredo at times. We definitely have the quality out there to create goals and score goals when he’s not available. That was a big positive today.

“I’m very pleased with the clean sheet as well, so it was a good performance all round.

“It’s just reminding them they are good players and have got quality. Talent’s not enough, you have to turn up with the right mentality and purpose. You’ve got to work hard and match these teams. They’re not just going to hand it to you, you’ve got to earn the right.

“If you compare the first 45 minutes today to how we played over 90 minutes against St Johnstone, it’s night and day. It’s completely different.

“The reaction didn’t surprise me because whenever we’ve looked for that reaction throughout this season, it has been there. They have put in those type of top performances.

“I see the quality the majority of the time. But if we have any ambitions of being successful together, we have to have that attitude and application every time we turn up.”

There were plenty of positives for Gerrard to take as Rangers stormed into a 4-0 half-time lead and then rounded off the scoring late on through Lafferty.

The Northern Irishman has endured a frustrating campaign at times this term but Gerrard was pleased to see his efforts rewarded at the Hope Stadium.

He said: “It’s been coming. He’s been a little bit unlucky at times. You saw his header blocked by the defender today and thought it wasn’t going to be his day.

“He’s stayed with it and we know he has the quality to come on, or even when he starts, to get numbers in his game. Hopefully that will do him the world of good and he can build on it.

“Goals give centre forwards confidence. He’s waited quite a while for that. He came in and was doing really well, then went off the boil a bit. Hopefully that goal gets him back to being the real Kyle Lafferty because he can be a big help for us.”