SPIRIT. Togetherness. Resilience. Character. Mentality. Rangers have shown that they have all those things this season and the win over Hearts on Sunday summed up the traits that Steven Gerrard has instilled in this squad.

To come from behind and be ahead at Tynecastle says a lot about them. And then to finish the job after going down to ten men tells you even more.

People can panic when you lose a man but that is one of the main differences between Rangers this season and last season. They can manage the game and, in adversity, they can see it through.

All season, and with the way Scotland is at times, it has been a case of don’t believe the hype when it comes to Steven and Rangers.

But the supporters are right to have a bit of belief in the team right now and you can’t blame them for enjoying themselves every time they go to a game.

Psychologically, for Rangers fans, management and players and everyone involved with the club, to see your name at the top of the league again is huge.

There is a small sense of accomplishment because they have waited such a long time to get there but they know that nothing is won and the job is far from done. Nobody will be getting ahead of themselves.

But the players will take a lot of confidence from it and it shows how far they have come in a short space of time since Steven came into the club.

If they could get through the next six Premiership fixtures and then be ahead of Celtic or within touching distance of Celtic after the Old Firm game that would be a superb first half of the season. Then, you have to fancy your chances.

If they could be in that position, and through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League, then that would be a phenomenal achievement from Rangers.

They have given themselves a chance in Europe with the draw against Villarreal last week and hopefully now they can finish the job against Rapid Vienna to give themselves another boost for the remaining Premiership games this month.

That is the dream scenario for Steven but he knows better than anyone that there is so much hard work to be done between then and now. That has to be the target, though.

It has been a long time coming for Rangers to be back top of the league. For years and years, everyone was used to seeing Rangers and Celtic up there.

Celtic have dominated recently while Rangers haven’t been there and there will be a sense of pride amongst the players at Ibrox that they are top at this stage of the season. They have to take confidence from it as well.

Rangers are not where they want to be just yet in terms of the bigger picture but it is another important step for this term.

I still feel they are a couple of players shy from being a real force and it will be interesting to see what business they do during the January transfer window.

I think Celtic will improve their side and their squad and get stronger so it is imperative that Rangers do likewise if they are to maintain a challenge until the end of the season.

When Steven was asked what it meant to be top of the league on Sunday, he was quick to reply ‘nothing’ and play it down.

He knows it is all about where you are come the final whistle of the last game of the season, not where you are in December.

There are no celebrations just now and nobody will be getting carried away. It was refreshing to hear that from Steven and he will remain grounded and get on with the job in hand.

That continues with the game against Aberdeen on Wednesday night. Having beat Hearts to go top, they now have to beat Aberdeen to stay there.

And it is only once that has been achieved that they can look to see what has gone on at Fir Park and how Celtic have got on against Motherwell.

I don’t think Celtic will be worried at the fact that Rangers have gone above them in the Premiership, I really don’t.

While we were winning at Tynecastle, Brendan Rodgers’ side were picking up their seventh trophy in-a-row at Hampden and you have to say that is an unbelievable achievement.

They know what it takes to win and how to get across that line and you have to compliment them for that. That is the ability that Rangers have to prove they have now as well.

Celtic won’t be fearful and they won’t be worried. But they will be aware of Rangers being up there and challenging them.

They will be aware of the improvements that Rangers have made under Steven Gerrard, especially when it comes to their form at Ibrox. So the Old Firm game won’t just take care of itself this time.

There are a number of really important games for Rangers before that one and they need to be right up there with Celtic going into that derby at the end of the month.

Rangers can’t afford to get ahead of themselves or take anything for granted in any game or against any opposition.

It is all about their nerve in the build-up to the Old Firm game and then, on that day, we will see who wants it the most and who the better team is.