THE points are always more important than the performance. In the list of positives, one will stand out for Graeme Murty.

This wasn’t pretty, but it was effective enough. Hibernian will feel aggrieved but Rangers will be more than relieved.

A run of three wins has become one of four and that was all that mattered for Murty and his players at Easter Road as they came from a goal down to retain second spot in the Premiership standings.

Read more: Graeme Murty has mixed emotions as Rangers battle to win over Hibernian​

Behind after just nine minutes to a Lewis Stevenson strike, Rangers rallied late in the first half and took the lead thanks to Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos.

That quick burst was as good as it got for the Light Blues. It was all they needed, though, as they dug in and hauled themselves over the winning line.

Murty made two changes from the side that pulled off a similar recovery job against Ross County on Saturday as Carlos Pena, unsurprisingly, dropped out of the team to be replaced by Morelos. The other switch was in the middle of the park as youngster Jamie Barjonas was handed his first start of the campaign in place of Daniel Candeias.

The interim boss had been expecting an all-action approach from Neil Lennon’s side and Rangers were caught cold on a chilly night in the Capital.

Stevenson started and finished the move for the opener as he sent Simon Murray free down the left flank and the striker made the most of the space vacated by James Tavernier as he easily beat Bruno Alves. He had time to pick his pass and Stevenson had time to unleash a shot that took a deflection on its way beyond Wes Foderingham.

It was far from the start that Rangers were hoping for and the task soon got more difficult for Murty’s side as Kenny Miller was forced off with a hamstring injury. It saw Candeias enter the fold and Rangers switch to a three-pronged attack as Windass moved out to the left flank.

Read more: Handball call was as clear as you will see, says Hibernian boss Neil Lennon​

The opportunity was there for Hibs to capitalise but the crucial second goal never arrived. They would later regret it.

Foderingham denied Paul Hanlon and Martin Boyle with smart saves in quick succession and Rangers had little response as they struggled to assert themselves in the match. Ross McCrorie was fortunate he didn’t pick up a second booking as he went through the back of John McGinn.

Morelos had spurned Rangers’ best chance when he headed a Declan John corner wide of target and it was hard to see where the goal was coming from for the Light Blues.

Windass ballooned a shot high over the bar before Barjonas pulled a low effort just wide of target. With the whistle in sight, the Light Blue legions finally had reason to celebrate, though.

And it was Windass that brought them to their feet as he continued his fine run of scoring form with a clinical finish from just inside the area. The ball broke to the midfielder and he steadied himself before beating Ofir Marciano with a low shot into the far corner.

Rangers would have taken the whistle there and then but it got even better for Murty’s side before they returned to the dressing room.

Barjonas shuffled the ball out to Morelos on the right side of the box but the striker still had plenty to do as he twisted, turned and jinked his way into the area. The angle was against him but his sweetly struck strike left Marciano wrong footed as Rangers got their second goal in as many minutes.

Read more: Graeme Murty has mixed emotions as Rangers battle to win over Hibernian​

It changed the mood around Easter Road but it wouldn’t have changed the messages from Murty that much at the break. Despite the scoreline, he would still have demanded more from his players in the second half.

The first chance fell to Hibs as Boyle fired a teasing cross along the six yard line but Murray couldn’t convert as Rangers breathed a sigh of relief.

Just minutes later, they should have been celebrating. Tavernier had posed little attacking threat to date but he swung in a terrific cross from the right. Morelos was just a couple of yards out, but he couldn’t connect properly with his header as a gilt-edge opportunity went to waste.

The action was as frantic as expected and Hibs were in the ascendancy once again. Brandon Barker beat Foderingham with a curling strike from the edge of the box but was denied by the woodwork before the Gers keeper palmed away another Boyle cross.

Murty would have had one eye on the clock as his side held on and there was another let-off as Barker, given too much room on the Hibs’ left, struck the opposite post this time.

The Gers boss made his second switch of the night as Barjonas made way for David Bates and the defender shored up the backline alongside Alves and Danny Wilson.

The 21-year-old survived a scare when Murray connected with an Efe Ambrose cross and Hibs claimed for a handball. The claim looked strong as Easter Road appealed in unison but the call was waved away by referee Kevin Clancy.

The traffic was almost all one-way now as Rangers tried to see it out but there was enough to give Lennon cause for optimism as his side piled forward. Barker had made a real impact since being introduced and he again cut in from the left and tried his luck, the shot this time rising just over the bar.

The final minutes would have dragged in for Murty as he stood on the touchline and on the edge of another significant win.

The final blow of the whistle sparked the celebrations in the away end and Murty ushered his players towards the supporters. The job was done, but only just.