STEVEN Gerrard admits his Rangers side should have had the game sewn up against Hamilton after five minutes if it had gone to plan.
The Gers manager believes his team could have done a lot more in front of goal and he wishes they had so he could have rested key players with a double header against Hibernian coming up, as well as a trip to St Johnstone and then an Old Firm clash.
Daniel Candeias scored the only goal of the game after just three minutes but despite having the lion share of possession Gerrard’s side couldn’t find a second, making them vulnerable to the counter attack until the final whistle.
The win fires Rangers back to the top of the Premiership, a point ahead of Celtic and level on points with Kilmarnock, who have played a game more.
Speaking to RangersTV Gerrard said: “I’m not interested in being top of the league, we were top of the league against Hearts and then for eight days we have suffered as a team. So I am happy we have won and I am happy with the clean sheet but we need to improve.
“I am frustrated with certain aspects of our game, I thought without the ball today we were really good, we counter pressed really well, kept regaining the ball and kept attack, attack all the time.
“But when we get the ball in good areas we were lacking today, the final pass, the final cross, the final bit of quality.
“We didn’t have a killer instinct about us and at 1-0 the game is always open and you always give Hamilton a chance to sneak back into it.
“Thankfully we never but we certainly have a lot to learn, especially when we are in the final areas of the pitch.
“Killer instinct is missing, as is that little bit of quality, someone who is going to step up and kill the game. We should have won this game after five minutes today; we should have been two or three nil up.
“We had 21 corners today and I am guessing here, but we had at least 30 crosses into the box. We are playing well up until a certain point but someone has got to go and want to go and score a goal or assist a goal to kill Hamilton.
“As soon as that game goes to 2-0 I can get James Tavernier off the pitch because he has played every minute and I can rest people for the more important games coming up.
“I didn’t have that luxury so the plan that I had in my head went out the window because we didn’t have a killer instinct today.
“The players have done a lot of things right today, they have forced this team into 21 corners, they have peppered the box with crosses, and they have tried to find the final pass.
“But being a Rangers player comes with pressure and responsibility, you have to step up in that last part of the pitch.”
Candeias’ goal was his fifth of the season as he made an instant impact on his return to the starting line-up. The Portuguese was in Vienna in midweek to watch the Gers exit the Europa League but was suspended after seeing red against Spartak Moscow at Ibrox.
Gerrard confessed both before and after the final group game that the 30-year-old was sorely missed and the manager was pleased to have him back.
He said: “Daniel is a big player for us, I thought especially in the first 15-20 minutes his energy certainly helped and he is adding goals to his game for us which is a big help.
“We can’t be over reliant on certain people so I am really pleased with Daniel today, we moved him inside the pitch to try and find that little bit of quality but it wasn’t to be.
“To have him back available is a big help to me and also having his mate (Alfredo Morelos) back through the week is a big help as well.”