STEVEN GERRARD admits Rangers had a spring in their step after seeing Celtic and Hearts drop points ahead of their 5-1 win over St Johnstone on Sunday.

The Light Blues moved up to second spot in the Premiership with an impressive victory at Ibrox thanks to goals from James Tavernier, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Kyle Lafferty and Daniel Candeias.

Rangers are now five points behind league leaders Hearts and one ahead of Celtic after their dramatic late defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

And boss Gerrard was delighted with the performance and result as the Gers followed up their Europa League draw against Villarreal with an emphatic Premiership triumph.

He said: “I thought we were very good, especially on the back of a tough night last week in Spain. It was the exact performance I was looking for.

“I thought we were ruthless at times and played some stunning football, scoring five very, very god goals.

“The only fault is with the penalty ay the end where I think we got a little bit sloppy in the last ten minutes. But all in all I’m very happy.

“The results over the weekend – not just Celtic, but Hearts as well – gave us a bit of a spring in our step.

“When we are presented with opportunities like that we have to make sure we’re ready to pounce. That’s especially if we’re off the top.

“Any time someone above us drops points we have to capitalise on that and I thought we did. We were very strong and played some really good stuff.

“When I took over I knew it would take time. But at times today we looked really dangerous going forward and could have scored a couple more goals.

“We rattled the woodwork a few times but that’s the way we’ve got to be at home. When teams come here we’ve got to give them a difficult 90 minutes.

“Out of possession, we were good too – we weren’t lazy with everyone buying into the fact we had to match St Johnstone early on.

“We had to fight and battle and once we won that we knew our quality would take over.”

A late penalty from Blair Alston was the only negative for Rangers as Gerrard’s side were denied another clean sheet on home soil.

Captain Tavernier was taken off as a precaution early in the second half but Gerrard was full of praise for the right-back.

He said: “He says he’s fine and could have carried on but there’s a little bit of tightness.

“I’ve over used James in certain situations. As soon as the third goal went in I wanted to get him off. I don’t think it’s serious.

“He would be fine on Wednesday but I have to decide if I do it or not.

“He was excellent on Thursday and from half-time he was the best I’ve seen him.

“He’s been consistent, but on Thursday from half time until he had to come off today that’s the best we’ve seen of him.

“We know what he can do in the final third – he’s the best attacking right-back in the league.

“He knows where I think he can improve and where I see him at his best. He’s been magnificent.”