Rangers full-back Borna Barisic has praised his side’s improved strength of character and says they no longer “panic” in adversity.
After the shock midweek League Cup exit to St Mirren, Steven Gerrard’s side fell behind to Motherwell on Saturday.
But the hosts kept their cool and responded with a Kemar Roofe double and Cedric Itten header to go 16 points clear of Celtic at the Scottish Premiership summit.
“We showed character,” said Barisic.
“Last season and the season before when we would be 1-0 down, we’d always struggle to come back.
“We’d start to panic and maybe couldn’t come back. But [on Saturday] we believed in each other, didn’t panic and deserved that win.
“We again scored three goals and showed the team spirit we have and a very different character from last season.”
Rangers have failed to last the distance in the title race during Gerrard’s two seasons at the helm. But Barisic is heartened by a stronger mindset among the squad this term as the club attempt to win their first major trophy in a decade.
“I cannot talk about the mentality of champions but yes I can say that the mentality is different,” the Croatia international added.
“This is now our third season together and we’ve learned a lot about everyone and each other. There are some new players who have adapted very quickly.
“I think our mentality now is much different and I can see that especially in this last game.”
‘Festive fixtures key to title bid’
Assistant manager Gary McAllister admits Rangers’ hectic schedule of festive fixtures could define their title bid.
A run of four games in 11 days begins at St Johnstone on Wednesday, with Hibernian then visiting Ibrox on Boxing Day before Rangers face St Mirren away and Old Firm rivals Celtic at home.
“Christmas and New Year is always key in any league you play, especially here in the UK because there are loads of games and the scheduling is really tough,” said McAllister.
“If you can come through it, it goes a long way to deciding where you’re going to finish. So I totally agree it is a massive week to 10 days. If we can come through here nice and clean, we’ll be happy.”
Striker Alfredo Morelos is back from suspension for the trip to McDiarmid Park and midfielder Ryan Jack could return after more than a month out with a knee problem.