Connor Goldson warns his Rangers team-mates to move on if they can't handle the pressure

It was only 11 weeks ago. To Connor Goldson, it probably feels like a lifetime.

But he insists Rangers’ win over Celtic away back on December 29 has to be the gold standard they hit every week – not just every now and then.

Since that high-water mark before the winter break, Steven Gerrard’s side had dropped seven points in eight league games before yesterday’s match with Killie and gone out of the Scottish Cup at the quarter-final stage.

The centre-half admits that’s allowed doubt to creep into the dressing room as well as the stands – but they have to be mentally strong enough not to let it derail them completely from the mission he signed up for at the start of the season.

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The 26-year-old said: “I came up here and said I wanted to win things but I still believe this club will win trophies while I’m here.

“I still feel like it’s a matter of time. We’re improving.

“We’re going to have setbacks along the road and last week, losing to Aberdeen in the Cup, was probably the biggest one we’ve encountered yet.

“We need to show people we are mentally strong and that a bump in the road can’t damage us in the long term.

“These bumps cause a little bit of doubt around the whole place but, as players, we need to stick together. On the whole we’ve had a good season.

Gerrard has warned changes are coming
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“For the majority of the season everything has been positive.

“But when we have the week we’ve had – drawing with Hibs and losing to Aberdeen – the place has turned upside and gone from positive to negative.

“We just need to look at ourselves, what went wrong, and try to improve. That’s all we can do as a team.

“I just don’t want the place to turn sour after Tuesday, where it becomes a case of players trying not to get nervous.”

The next game Rangers play after the international break will be Celtic away.

While the perception from the outside will be damage limitation, trying to keep the gap at the top respectable, Goldson insists it has to serve a higher purpose.

Connor Goldson of Rangers salutes the travelling fans
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He said: “If you win the remainder of your games, nine on the spin, you’re very close – and we have to play Celtic twice.

“We’re a team that goes a month of blowing teams away and looking unbelievable, then we have these dips.

“We need to sort that out. Next season, if we want to be winners, it’s something we definitely need to fix.

“And the game we played against Celtic on December 29 has to be fresh in our memories. We must believe we can go to Celtic Park and win.

“That match before New Year was a long time ago but it gives us an optimism, a lack of fear.

Rangers’ Ryan Jack celebrates scoring the winner
(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

“When we went there earlier in the season, and lost 1-0, I felt afterwards we’d given them too much respect.

“At our place, when we won 1-0 in December, we proved we’re a match for them if we play like we did.

“That’s definitely the standard we have to reach. If you want to win things you need to be on top of your game every week.

 

“Look at any league across the world, the team that plays the best every week usually wins the league and they don’t have as many bumps as we’ve had.”

Goldson arrived at Ibrox from Brighton for a seven-figure sum in the summer, well aware he was in for a culture change.

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Their absence from the Betfred Cup Final and now even the Scottish Cup semis has made him even more acutely aware that such shortcomings won’t be tolerated the way mediocrity was in his previous world.

He said: “My psychology is a lot different. The club I was playing for down south were trying to avoid relegation.

“This one wants to win everything we’re involved in. I don’t go back after a draw thinking it’s a good result. I’ve bought straight into the mentality here that you need to win every game and if you don’t you’ll come under criticism.

“That’s the thing you have to accept, playing for a big club.

“We’ve all signed here wanting to be a part of this club and a part of the success it brings.

“So it’s up to us and the coaches to bring that here. If you’re not up for that or can’t handle the criticism, then it’s not for you.

“We’ve got a team in there. We just need to stop the bumps if we want to be successful.

“We all woke up on Wednesday morning hurting.

“We went into the Aberdeen tie knowing there was a big cup semi-final on the cards if we were successful but we couldn’t deliver.”

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