STEVEN GERRARD admitted Rangers couldn’t handle the heat of the title battle after falling ten points adrift of Celtic in the Premiership.

The Gers were stunned at Rugby Park as Kilmarnock came from behind to net twice in the closing stages and cancel out Scott Arfield’s opener.

It is the third time in three weeks that Rangers have dropped points after also losing to Hearts and drawing at home to Aberdeen.

And Gerrard reckons the pressure got to some of his players as they collapsed after the break to leave their silverware ambitions hanging by a thread.

He said: “In the second half, we never handled the heat or the pressure. We never played like a team that was trying to fight to remain in a title race, a team that was trying to come away from here with three points.

“The reality is the opposition are in the driving seat. That’s down to two things - their form and us not being good enough since the winter break.

“But I’m responsible for that. I put this group together. I coach them, they are my tactics and decisions. So I’m not going to sit here and try and force any blame in any other direction than myself.

“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating at the moment. We keep going, we keep fighting and see where we are.

“But on the evidence of the second half tonight, it’s very worrying for me right now.

“On the evidence of tonight, yes [we need a stronger mentality]. On the evidence since the winter break, for sure. It’s tough to find that mentality.

“I had every belief and confidence when I reflected on the first six months of the season that I had enough to put at least a stronger fight up at this stage. But at the moment it’s looking extremely tough.”