The big moments are reserved for the biggest players. Jack Butland, and the save that he made in the win over Kilmarnock, fall into those respective categories. In the fullness of time, the importance of both will become clear.

If Rangers go on to lift the Premiership title in the coming weeks, events on Wednesday night will be painted as one of the most significant of the season. It was only another three points added to their tally, but it felt more profound than that. This was a match that previous incarnations of this side would, and have, lost but there is something different about the group that Philippe Clement has guided to top spot in the standings.

Clement pinpointed four key attributes post-match. The first three – resilience, mentality and solidarity – applied to many of those who played their part in a dramatic comeback. The fourth one, quality in those defining passages of play, was more relevant to three men in particular. James Tavernier’s free-kick was classy and the finish from Tom Lawrence was clinical. Yet both would arguably have been irrelevant had Butland not shown his own levels just seconds after the interval.

Had Kilmarnock, ahead through a Danny Armstrong penalty, doubled their advantage, there may well have been no way back for Rangers. It made the save from a Matty Kennedy effort all the more imperative. Kennedy seemed destined to score with a strike from 12 yards but Butland, as he has done so often this term, was there when his team needed him most. It didn’t win Rangers the match, but it ensured that they wouldn’t lose it.

“It’s moments,” Butland said when asked about the stop, made low and to his right. “At this stage of the season it’s about moments. And a moment like that knocks the wind out of their sails, I guess, and gives us a bit of a lifeline. It would have been really difficult from there had that gone in.

“But Tav has a moment, Tom has a moment, and that’s what this part of the season is all about. We had those big moments when we needed them against Kilmarnock and it got us the result in what’s a tough place to play football.

“You just try not to give up the goal. You just try to get to the middle of your goal and keep your eye on the ball the best you can. He put a good contact on it but it was at a nice distance for me.

“I wasn’t quite at full stretch but, for me, it’s about putting myself in those positions. That’s what you train for. You don’t go trying to chase after things, you just wait for things to come to you and fortunately I was in the right position to make that save.”

Butland has been in the right place at the right time throughout the season. The next ten league matches will determine if he has a title medal around his neck, but the individual prizes will surely be his. So many plaudits have been already and a return to the England squad would be a just reward for a standout performer at Ibrox.

Before, during and after the win over Kilmarnock, it was easy and obvious to cast minds back to events in August. Butland was put forward to speak to the media in the aftermath of the 1-0 loss and called for calm after a disastrous start to the season for Michael Beale’s side. This time around, the mood and the messages are very different.

A side that were hopeful, perhaps hopeless, title challengers now lead the way. Rangers have belief in their ability and courage of their convictions under Clement. A support that had written the Premiership off can now dare to dream.

“Performances have changed,” Butland said as he referenced that opening day defeat, standing in the same section of the Rugby Park concourse several months on. “From a fans’ perspective, they can see we are trying to do things the right way. They can see that we’re the better side in the games that we play. They can see the chances are coming. I think that’s what they look for and you get more and more belief the closer you get to the top.

“Ultimately, when you do get to the top of the table the fans allow themselves to chant a little bit freer, if you like. But they have been unbelievable for us all year. At the start of the season we needed to hear that booing because we weren’t good enough.

“But they haven’t failed to travel everywhere we’ve been and they’ve brought the noise every time. Certainly, in the last three or four months, it has been positive from every angle at the club. And that’s what we’re thriving on and loving.”

The manner of Rangers’ last two wins could not have been more different but they are equally as telling about where they are and where they are heading. The 5-0 win over Hearts at the weekend saw them blitz one of the form teams in the division with admirable style, while the success at Rugby Park was more about substance as Derek McInnes was denied another Old Firm scalp during Killie's terrific run. The questions that were asked were answered.

Clement was typically level-headed afterwards. He will not make bold statements about the prospects in the Premiership but there is no doubt this was a difficult hurdle overcome. Indeed, in their last 15 matches, the only two that Kilmarnock have lost have both been defeats to Rangers.

“It does, because they have been the bogey team for a few teams this season,” Butland said when asked if it felt more significant than just three points. “That’s not by luck. They have it figured out, what they do. And they do it really well. It’s being disrespectful to them to just say you should go there and win. It’s tough to go there and win.

“We found that out in the two previous games we played them. They are a dogged team and they also have some real quality as well. They can punish you. It’s just another three points but, yeah, it’s a three points that we needed against a team that have slipped up a few teams this season, including us. So we had to get the job done. So it does feel a little bit bigger.”

Butland pointed to the fact that Rangers had come from behind to win in adversity as a telling takeaway from Wednesday night. He insisted there was no ‘panic’ within the away dressing room at the interval. At that stage, Celtic were winning 6-0 at home to Dundee and Rangers were losing their place at the top of the table.

Events elsewhere don’t matter to Clement. Rangers’ destiny is very much in their own hands right now. The title is not quite within reach but it could soon be theirs to grasp.

“It was such a good feeling,” Butland said. “Rugby Park is such a tough place to go to. They’re a team that has it figured out. They make it difficult for you and don’t give you a chance to breathe. If you’re not quite at it, then it makes your life difficult.

“Fortunately we got through to half-time relatively unscathed. We then had a big second-half and we remained calm. I felt we were better in the second-half when we played our normal football and ultimately we got the result we wanted.

“You do [take more satisfaction from those kind of wins]. Because it’s not easy. Games like that do a lot for our confidence. They galvanise you a little bit more when it’s a tough place to play but you get the desired result. And at this stage of the season, the business end, it’s about nothing more than getting the results. It certainly feels sweeter when you do have to come from behind. Not that we want to be doing that too often.”