Ryan Kent insists Rangers are right up for the title fight after beating a Hamilton side he believes would have flattened them last season.
The £7million winger fired Gers back in front of Accies with a stunning strike later dubbed “world class” by boss Steven Gerrard.
He then rolled home again in stoppage time to put the seal on a 3-1 win but admits the Ibrox side failed to produce their best during a sloppy second-half.
However, the fact the Light Blues ground out the victory that sees them keep pace with title rivals Celtic at the top of the table is proof enough for Kent that his side will be in the hunt for the Ladbrokes Premiership crown all the way to May.
Kent – whose side saw Ryan Jack’s early opener cancelled out by Lewis Smith’s header for Hamilton – said: “There’s always one eye on what’s going on across the city but we can only control what we’re doing and what’s going on at our end.
“But we’re always up for the challenge – we were up for the challenge last season but we fell short and we’re here to put it right this season.
“The winning mentality has changed and players believe more in themselves as you can see from the performances of everyone who has stepped up another level this season.
“Coming off the pitch we probably weren’t happy with our performance but we’re quite pleased with the result because a year ago who knows what would have happened in a game like that?
“If we go into the game with the right mentality and treat the opposition with respect then it’s down to us and our performances.”
Gers are unlikely to get away with being so off the pace when they travel to Rotterdam on Thursday to face Feyenoord, where a win will seal progress to the last 32 of the Europa League.
But Kent has no doubt Rangers will respond positively at De Kuip.
He said: “In the bigger games we get the best out of ourselves and maybe being underdogs helps that.
“Our performances in the Europa League so far have been excellent and not just with the ball but without it as well.
“It’s an important run of games coming up and hopefully there will be a lot of happy smiles after it but we need to take one game at a time and make sure we’re putting in 100 per cent in every game and hopefully it will all come good.”
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