Lee Johnson believes Hibernian struggled to deal with the ‘outstanding’ Ryan Kent as Mick Beale’s side cruised to a 4-1 Scottish Premiership win at Easter Road, speaking to Football Scotland.
When Connor Goldson slashed into his own net with just eight minutes on the clock, the visiting support may have feared a return to the bad old days of the Giovanni van Bronckhorst era. When Rangers would constantly go behind in games; firing shotgun shells into their own feet.
Beale’s Rangers, however, are a different animal. And Hibs’ early opener merely tugged at the tiger’s tail; the Glasgow giants roaring back to secure a highly-impressive 4-1 win at Edinburgh.
Rangers hammer Hibs at Easter Road
“It was a great start. And then very quickly we showed too much naivety and a lack of technical quality. It was a bit hot potato everywhere,” sighs Johnson.
“We’ve been so confident. But you come up against a team like Rangers and you’ve got to go up a level. You’ve got to be brighter in the mind. Your touch has got to be softer. You’ve got to know your next pass that bit quicker and, all over the park, we were just nowhere near good enough.”
James Tavernier scored his 97th Rangers goal with a trademark penalty mere moments after Goldson’s blunder. The visitors then pulled clear as a brace from Antonio Colak sandwiched a fine individual effort from the increasingly-effervescent Fashion Sakala.
For Johnson, however, it was another player who caught his eye.
“You’ve got to give credit to them,” the former Sunderland boss adds. “They were snappy, they were honest. I thought Ryan Kent was outstanding.
“Our players need to step up in these games, it’s as simple as that. We’ve conceded chances and goals, like really our own doing. The second and third are our naive mistakes.
“In these games you’ve got to be smarter.”