STEVEN Gerrard last night insisted he was delighted to see Rangers win ugly against St Mirren and maintain the pressure on Celtic at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

A first-half Jermain Defoe goal secured a narrow win for Gerrard’s side over Jim Goodwin’s team at Ibrox and kept them just two points behind their city rivals in the table.

The Rangers manager, whose men have a game in hand against St Johnstone at home still to play, admitted his charges didn’t perform at their best in their first league game since their win over Celtic at Parkhead last month.

However, the former Liverpool and England midfielder stressed that picking up all three points was the most important objective for his side and declared himself happy with the final outcome.

“I’m delighted with it, in terms of the outcome and result,” he said. “It gets us closer to where we want to be, six wins on the spin. So I’m positive, I’m happy.

HeraldScotland:

“I understand some of the frustration around the fans, and the players, not scoring three or four. Over course of the season it’s not going to be perfect in every game. We’re still trying to find top gear.

“But it’s a win, a clean sheet, defensively very sound. We could have killed the game off, but it wasn’t to be.

“We expected St Mirren to come with that formation, to try to stay in the game as long as they could. They were very well drilled. We always knew, if the scoreline wasn’t out of reach, they would show more ambition late on.

“It left gaps we maybe should have capitalised on. But we’ll take the win and move on.”

Gerrard added: “You see Rangers v St Mirren and expect three, four five. It’s not always going to be like that You’ve got to respect them. It’s the same outcome.

“The fans are entitled to moan and groan if they want, if they’re not seeing what they expect. I’m not sitting here saying we were outstanding, everything is flying and we were brilliant. But we’re winning, doing whatever it takes to win games.

“There will be nights when we’re better, when we score more goals. But I’m not sitting here with any negativity."