31 Oct Holt eyes Rangers revival
Jason Holt reckons Rangers must match the standards they set against Kilmarnock if they are to continue their revival.
The Ibrox men have been on the receiving end of some stinging criticism in the wake of last week’s defeat to Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final and the lifeless draw with St Johnstone on Wednesday.
But they were far slicker as they put on their best display of the season to claim a 3-0 home win over Killie.
Lee Wallace and Joe Garner netted either side of an Andy Halliday penalty to move Gers up to second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Light Blues head to Dingwall to face Ross County next Sunday but midfielder Holt warned his side could they must not slip below the performance levels they mustered against Lee Clark’s team.
He said: “It was probably our best performance of the season in terms of our passing and movement. The tempo of our play was pleasing.
“Midweek against St Johnstone was a big disappointment so it was important we bounced back. We always try and start on the front foot and play at a high tempo.
“We did that on Saturday. You could see from the start we wanted to create chances and score. That set the tone.
“We did that and it’s nice to be up into second. That said, we are not settling for that and we need to kick on again.
“From that point of view the game against Ross County next Sunday is massive for us.
“We’ve set the standards today and we can’t let that drop. Those standards are high so we need to make sure we keep to that level next week.”
Michael O’Halloran was the stand-out performer for Mark Warburton’s men as his pace caused the Killie defence no end of problems.
It was the former St Johnstone winger’s second start in a row after spending much of the campaign kicking his heels on the bench.
But Holt has been impressed by his team-mate’s recent impact.
“You have seen in the last few games the quality of the performances that Mikey has been putting in,” said the ex-Hearts man.
“He is so direct and that is so important for guys like Joe Garner who thrive on crosses into the box.
“He has been great since he’s come back in. We’re all really happy for him and we hope it continues.”
Kilmarnock had arrived at Ibrox hoping to build on their impressive win over Hearts in midweek.
Instead they put in a timid display as they allowed Gers to get up to full speed.
Boss Lee Clark – who watched his side crumble to a 6-1 defeat at Celtic Park last month – admitted playing at the two giant Glasgow arenas had left some of his men overawed.
And skipper Steven Smith warned his team-mates they need to shake off their naive look if they are to avoid painful lessons on future visits.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of young players and if they have got any ambition or aspirations in the game then this is the kind of place they should want to be playing every week.
“They will learn from experiences like this but they need to learn a bit quicker.
“We’ve been beaten by six and now three without really threatening Rangers’ goal. We need to do better when we come to places like this.”