Steven Gerrard: Rangers players must take criticism after Kilmarnock defeat

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Watch: Defoe scores debut Rangers goal

Rangers' players need to "suck up the criticism" they will receive after losing at Kilmarnock, says manager Steven Gerrard.

Jermain Defoe's debut goal gave the Ibrox side the lead, but Joe Worrall's error gifted Eamonn Brophy an equaliser before Jordan Jones struck the winner.

The result means Rangers fall to third, three points behind Celtic, having beaten the leaders in their last game.

"The table won't look nice. We'll be criticised, rightly so," Gerrard said.

"We had an awful lot of praise three weeks ago and rightly but tonight we weren't at it all over the pitch."

January signing Defoe got his Rangers career off to the perfect start, and Alfredo Morelos hit a post with a header.

But Gerrard bemoaned Rangers' "silly gifts" as Worrall conceded possession to Brophy before the leveller and Jones, who will join Rangers in the summer, capitalised on a slack pass in midfield.

"We backed off Jordan and let him onto his favoured foot. A player of that ability is going to punish you from 20 yards," Gerrard added.

"I think the players need to learn that even if you're playing well, you get yourself in front, you can't get over-confident.

"It's incredible how you can have so much control and be playing with confidence and swagger, and then completely lose your way for such a long part of the game from that first mistake."

Rangers, who now trail Kilmarnock by two points, face a trip to Livingston on Sunday before their rearranged Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at Cowdenbeath.

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Fans got 'carried away' with Jones tweet

Jones 'showed why Rangers signed him' - analysis

Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae on BBC Radio Scotland

I signed a pre-contract with Rangers when I was at Wolves. You have to realise Jordan Jones is not going to down tools. He showed exactly what he brings and that is the reason Rangers have signed him.

It is a disappointing result for Rangers and dents their championship aspirations. I always felt the three or four games after the winter break would define Rangers' season and when you consider that expectations have risen and they have added a couple of big names to their squad, they came up short.

Whatever shape you play, you can't legislate for the defending by Worrall that led to Brophy's goal. That gave Kilmarnock an extra yard and inspiration, and Rangers couldn't match it. That would be the worrying thing for Steven Gerrard.

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