Frustration for Whittaker and Rangers

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Steven WHITTAKER admits Rangers’ draw against St Mirren was doubly frustrating because they knew they were in a position to heap even more pressure on Celtic.

The Scottish champions blew the chance to claim a tenth consecutive Clydesdale Bank Premier League victory when they were held 1-1 by the Paisley club on Saturday.

Celtic – already trailing the SPL leaders by ten points heading into the weekend action – were forced to battle back from three goals down to earn a 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock earlier in the day.

Whittaker said: “Playing after them, we knew what their result was. We could have stretched it again by another two points but we haven’t. It’s definitely disappointing.

“We will look at it and see where we went wrong but, as long as we learn from it, I’m sure we will continue with the wins in the next few weeks again.”

Rangers made hard work of the clash at Ibrox but a Nikica Jelavic strike early in the second half looked like being enough to secure the win. But Saints stunned their hosts when they hit back deep into injury time through former Light Blues striker Steven Thompson on a day when they did not deserve to end the match empty-handed.

Whittaker felt the recent international break was a factor in the outcome, if not an excuse for the result. The full-back said: “It wasn’t a good performance overall. We were a bit lethargic, a bit off the pace.

“We managed to get ourselves a lead and it looked like we were going to hold onto it right until the last seconds.

“There were a lot of tired boys out there who had been away and played in two international games and had the travelling as well. All of that hasn’t helped but we’ve coped with that in the past and we can’t use that as an excuse. We just weren’t at it.”

Thompson was thrilled to find the back of the net at Ibrox again, albeit for the opposition this time.

He said: “It felt brilliant. I thought we deserved something from the game because of the way we played.

“The football we played in the second half was sensational and it was a great feeling to score a last-minute equaliser at Ibrox.”