Buffel: There's a long way to go

Last updated at 08:22 12 December 2005

Rangers began their Bank of Scotland Premier League fightback with a win over Kilmarnock, but Thomas Buffel believes there is still a long way to go before they can be regarded as serious title contenders again.

A 3-2 victory at Rugby Park - ending a 10-game winless streak - allowed Rangers to leapfrog their opponents into fourth place in the table.

But Hibernian, Hearts and Celtic all remain above the Scottish champions, with leaders Celtic boasting a 17-point lead over their rivals.

And Buffel warned there is still a long way to go for Rangers this term.

"It's a long comeback," he said. "It's just the start of picking up victories and the next game at Ibrox will be important.

"It's a huge game and everybody has to go on from today so that we can get back on track."

Peter Lovenkrands grabbed a hat-trick to secure all three points for Rangers, although goals from Gary McDonald and Kris Boyd ensured a tense finish to the game.

Lovenkrands literally snatched the ball from the feet of Buffel for his third, but the Belgian insists he didn't care who put the ball in the net.

He said: "I wasn't even thinking about that. I was just happy that it made it 3-1 and gave us some breathing space. It was an important goal."

Buffel added: "We have seen in the games in the past that we have never been able to hold the lead.

"That's something we have to think about and work on.

"Last year, even at 1-0, we knew we would defend it and do the job. This period, we have not been able to do that, but we got the victory here."

Steven Naismith knew Killie faced a tough test against a Rangers side who had booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League a few days earlier, but he reckons the home side were unfortunate to take nothing from the game.

He said: "We always knew what a tough game it would be after what they achieved during the week, which was great, but we were unlucky not to get a draw at least."

Speaking of a penalty claim in the first half, when Bob Malcolm appeared to handle in the box, the striker added: "Big Boydy [Kris Boyd] headed the ball down and it hit his hand, it was obviously not intentional but sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't."

Boyd, who has been linked with a move to Rangers in January, took his tally for the season to 16 and Naismith says no-one at Kilmarnock would begrudge him a move to a bigger club.

He said: "You can't stop him from scoring. It seems like he just scores every week.

"He has been amazing for Kilmarnock and no-one can complain if he moved in January or in the summer. It would be a big loss to lose our top goalscorer but we have other guys coming through who can do a job."

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