THEY say the league table never lies. For Steven Gerrard, the truth is simple.

No matter the circumstances, no matter the fixtures, five points from four games isn’t good enough for Rangers. That is the big picture, that is all that matters.

The points snatched from their grasps late on against Aberdeen and Motherwell make up the majority of those that Rangers have dropped so far this term, while the Old Firm defeat was the most significant blow that Gerrard has suffered as a manager.

A run of games that looked tricky on paper has seen Rangers stumble too often for Gerrard’s liking and that form must change as soon as the whistle goes at Ibrox this afternoon.

“We are not happy with the points total,” Gerrard said. “If I was an excuse merchant, I would say: ‘Oh, what about Aberdeen or the last result against Motherwell?’

“But that’s happened. No-one remembers that. Five out of 12 is not good enough. We need to amend that, starting against Dundee.

“If you look at our league fixtures from now until the next international break, they are fixtures that, if we play anywhere near what we are capable of, we have got to be looking to take maximum points.

“We are in a league where you can’t afford to make mistakes or concede last-minute goals or go down to ten men and not get the result your performance deserves.

“We need to learn. They are the messages that have been sent to the players and the players are well aware the league is the priority and we need to start taking maximum points.”

The dramatic finales at Pittodrie and Fir Park were tough to take for Rangers but it is the head-to-heads with Celtic that always focus Light Blue minds.

Brendan Rodgers’ side celebrated with a lap of honour on derby day after Olivier Ntcham clinched victory at Parkhead before the international break.

Gerrard has had a fortnight now to analyse and assess his first Old Firm experience and has taken positives and negatives as he strives for further improvement this term.

“Listen I can’t control what the Celtic players do and how they celebrate,” he said. “They can do whatever they do.

“For me the game was split in two halves after analysing it. We weren’t good enough in the first half, we didn’t pass the ball well enough and we didn’t have enough belief and courage when we won the ball back because we won it back quite a number of times as our shape wasn’t too bad.

“It was slightly deep for my liking but they gave us the ball back enough times for us to go and play and show what we were about and we didn’t for 45 minutes.

“We waited for Celtic to... we gave Celtic the ball back again and they came and created the best chances in the first half.

“I spoke at half time and was pleased we came out and gave a reaction, a better account of ourselves in terms of making the game a contest and showing what we were about and I thought it was even Stevens second half.

“Next time it comes around we’ll have been a lot longer together and we’ll be a better team. We know what Celtic are about, Brendan said they were excellent on the day.

“The Celtic players seemed as if they were really happy about how they played. If that’s Celtic’s best, I am satisfied with how it looked second half, but there is certainly a lot for us to work on before getting ready for the next fixture.”

The defeat to Celtic was the first that Gerrard has suffered as Rangers boss and came just days after the sterling showing in Ufa as his side qualified for the Europa League group stages.

A lack of consistency – both in terms of performances and results – have blighted the Gers in recent seasons and Gerrard is determined to start an improved run against Dundee.

“If you forget where we have been and who we have been up against, we have lost one in 13,” he said.

“Now I am not saying that’s allowed, but if we can go on a nice run then it starts again [today].

“The fixtures on paper maybe seem a little bit kinder for us to put a run together and that’s what we will be looking to do.

“[Friday] we posted our best training session I have seen since we have been together. I didn’t expect it [on Friday] with people coming back from international breaks and time off.

“But I saw a team that is focused and ready to play tomorrow. If we can take that session into [today], we will be fine.”

The first international break of the campaign has provided a natural pause after a frantic start to the season for Rangers as they have impressed in Europe and shown signs of improvement in the Premiership.

The hiatus came at just the right moment for Gerrard’s side but the resumption of domestic action, with a trip to Villarreal to come on Thursday, has sparked the Light Blues once again.

Gerrard said: “I haven’t really reflected on my own progress, I haven’t had time.

“The international break came at a good time as we had a really hectic fixture schedule so it was good to be able to switch off for a couple of days but at the same time we were on the back of an Old Firm defeat so we’ve had to chew on that for a couple of weeks, which is never nice.

“As a player, coming off the back of a sore one going into the international break was never what you want - you always wanted that next game to get it out your system and bounce back. I’ve certainly got that feeling bottled and I hope my players have got the feeling bottled too and we go and take it out on Dundee.

“That’s what football is about, you’ve got to take your breathers when they come, you’ve got to reflect, regroup and re-energise. I’m ready and I just hope my players are too.”