Rangers can get better still after Tannadice rout, says Whittaker

Steven Whittaker may have played a major role in Rangers' 4-0 win over Dundee United on Tuesday night, but he admits the club can still do better as the crucial matches come thick and fast for the Scottish champions.

The defender scored twice from the penalty spot at Tannadice and missed a third spot-kick on a night when Mihael Kovacevic, Sean Dillon and Morgaro Gomis were all sent off for United.

Nikica Jelavic and Kyle Lafferty were also on the scoresheet as Rangers made the most of their numerical advantage to move four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League. The win also means they head into this weekend's critical Old Firm derby in pole position.

Whittaker said: "We came here to get the points and the scoreline was pretty convincing in the end, but we can still play better than what we did. Any victory would have been ideal. To win 4-0 in the manner that we did was nice and it sets us up for the weekend.

"All you can ask for as a team and as a football player is to have it in your own hands. We don't want to rely on anyone else and we've got that."

The scoreline would have been even more convincing had Whittaker not blasted high and wide with his – and Rangers' – third penalty of the night but their manager, Walter Smith, refused to be too hard on the player who has struck six times from the spot this season.

He said: "It's not often someone gets the opportunity to take three penalties in the one game. Steven obviously had it in his mind to change where he was putting the ball and that affected his third one."

Rangers had squandered the opportunity to claim top spot in the SPL when they lost to United at Ibrox earlier this month and Smith felt a win at Tannadice was vital to take title matters back into their own hands again. He said: "We were happy to win the game, which was our main objective, so we are delighted with that aspect. The main thing is that we've got to keep winning.

"We placed that pressure on ourselves by losing a few weeks ago to Dundee United at home in a game that I felt we shouldn't have lost. We gave up an advantage in that game so we have to make sure we get it back when we play on Sunday."

Next up for Rangers is the highly anticipated final Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox this weekend – a match that could make or break either side's title aspirations.

Smith added: "We can look over the last few seasons and see that points have been dropped in the last five games but you can only concentrate on trying to do what you have to do. What we have to do is keep winning.

"I said that after the Dundee United game that we lost, that we had to go on a run of games if we hope to retain the championship. We have started that run and we need to make sure that we continue it."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum