STEVEN Gerrard, the Rangers manager, last night admitted the pain of the Kilmarnock defeat had been exacerbated by Jordan Jones, who the Ibrox club signed on a pre-contract agreement earlier this month, scoring the winner.

Gerrard's side squandered the early lead that debutant Jermain Defoe had given them at Rugby Park and crashed to a 2-1 loss to fall three points behind their city rivals Celtic, who have a game in hand, in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

He was scathing about how his side had performed after Joe Worral had gifted Eamonn Brophy a first-half equaliser and the "catalogue of errors" that led to Jones netting the second.

Asked about the Northern Ireland winger netting the decisive goal, he said: "That's football, isn't it? I've been around the game long enough and sometimes that happens to you. That adds to the pain, but what can you do?"

The Liverpool and England great conceded the loss had undone a lot of the good work Rangers had done with their 1-0 win over Celtic in the Glasgow derby at Ibrox last month.

He said: “I think so. We got a lot of praise for beating Celtic. We won every single key individual battle in that game.

“I’m struggling to find one of them tonight. So we deserve the criticism and have to suck the pain up over the coming days. It’s even more painful because we had so much control. One moment had a huge effect on us and that’s a concern.”

"The disappointing thing is analysing that moment. First we gave a square ball away on a difficult surface, when they were asked before the game to play no square balls. That was the first part we got wrong.

"Then we allowed the counter without getting close, backing off, before we allowed him to shoot. It was a catalogue of errors after the first square pass and that's the frustrating thing."

Gerrard continued: "He (Worrall) put his hand up for the mistake, but we have enough experience out there to react positively from a mistake.

"The worry and the concern was that it had an effect on the 11 until half-time. Then we weren't even able to reset and go again. we just didn't turn up in the second half."

Steve Clarke, the Kilmarnock manager, was delighted for Jones, who had been savaged by Kilmarnock fans after taking to social media to express his happiness at signing for Rangers.

“Jordan showed he’s a big player for us," he said. “He got the move to Rangers that he wanted and he can be a big player for us in the second half of the season.

“Sometimes fans get excited when things like this happen. I know Jordan well and the qualities he has.

“He’s been great for the club for two and a half seasons and I look forward to him being great for this club until the end of the season.

“I think it was over and done with after the press conference before the Forfar game. There was no fuss at that game, he put in a good shift then and this is now a good result for us.

“This tells you he can handle big pressure and that’s a good thing for Jordan going forward."

The Ayrshire club jumped above Rangers into second spot in the Premiership table, just a point behind Celtic, but Clarke revealed he hadn't been aware of their league position.

“I didn’t know we’ve gone second," he said. "I’ll take your word for it. It’s all about game by game and we won’t get carried away.

“We just want to get as many points as we can and hope to match that performance again on Saturday because we put in a helluva shift.”