Steven Gerrard claimed Ryan Jack showed the traits of a “proper leader” after scoring twice in Rangers’ 4-0 win over Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.
On a freezing night in Dingwall, Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos got the visitors up and running in the 20th minute when he knocked in a pass from Sheyi Ojo from close range
Midfielder Jack, 27, bagged a brace to boost the Light Blues safely clear by the interval, with Morelos grabbing his second – and 18th of the season – to keep Rangers behind leaders Celtic only on a goal difference of one.
“He is an example for the rest of the squad because he never drops his standards whether in training or a game,” said Gerrard when asked about Jack.
“He knits everything together, he drives the team on, he demands from everyone around him.
“It was a performance of a proper leader.
“His two finishes – he is adding that to his game as well so he has come on leaps and bounds.
“He needs to keep going but he is so vital to us and that is reason why I took him off, as I had that luxury.
“The key thing was we started the game a lot better.
“In the last two domestic games we cruised into the games with an arrogance that is not us.
“We are not at the level where we can do that.
“We need to treat every single opposition with the same respect.
“I was delighted with our mentality. I thought we started the game really strong, competed well and did the basics well and that’s what we need every game.
“We can’t pick and choose.”
County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell, whose side recently lost 6-0 at Celtic Park, admitted it had been an “extremely” tough night against the other side of the Old Firm.
He said: “We have to be brutally honest.
“We were worlds apart, in our play we weren’t able to compete with Rangers other than in the first 15 minutes of the game.
“We set out a slightly different game plan which was working relatively well and then we got that moment of adversity where you conceded a tap-in from two or three yards.
“From that, we don’t react in the correct manner, we are extremely passive and poor in possession.
“I said the same after the Celtic game, you admire good play and players and you saw that Rangers built up a great head of steam, but sometimes I think we are the architects of our own downfall.”