Rangers 4 Hearts 0: Manager Walter Smith paid tribute to Nikica Jelavic after the striker claimed his 17th goal of the season as Rangers cruised to a 4-0 win over Hearts on Saturday.
The Croatian striker set the ball rolling at Ibrox, before Kyle Lafferty and Steven Davis added their names to the scoresheet and Ryan Stevenson netted an own goal, as the Scottish champions made sure they stayed ahead of Celtic in the SPL title race.
Jelavic's tally is all the more impressive considering he spent almost four months on the sidelines earlier in the season and Smith is thrilled he is back to his best following ankle ligament damage.
The Rangers manager said: “He is a good player and we were obviously disappointed to lose him when we did.
“We lost him, we lost Kenny Miller and Kyle Lafferty was injured, so that was a difficult period to overcome.
“There were difficult parts of the season for us.
“But Jelavic is back now and he is showing us a really good level of play, as well as being able to get a finish as well.”
With the finishing line now in sight, Sasa Papac admits there were nerves before Saturday’s game as Rangers set out to strengthen their grasp on top spot.
The left-back said: “It was a good game for us. We had a good performance and all the team played well.
“There was a little bit of nervousness because it's the end of the season now and there are only two more games left.
“Everybody has the pressure because we are fighting for a title. But, after the first minute when you go on to the pitch, everything is fine.”
But Papac did not sense any real difference to the atmosphere as a result of new owner Craig Whyte being in the stand.
“Not really,” he said. “For me, as a player, Ibrox is always the best. I like to play here because we have great fans, the stadium is always full and that's great for the team.”
Hearts boss Jim Jefferies hopes Rangers are on top form again when they host Dundee United tomorrow night, as the Jambos bid to finally secure third spot in the SPL.
He said: “The bright side is that Rangers are in good form. They punished us with the chances they got and hopefully they can do the same on Tuesday and we can relax.”