Rangers maintained their 100 per cent start to move top of the Scottish Premiership – but it still was not enough to satisfy perfectionist boss Steven Gerrard.
The Ibrox side made it three wins from three as they eased past St Johnstone.
Borna Barisic’s free-kick was followed by goals from Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo before Gerrard rang the changes with half an hour left.
But Rangers failed to keep up the pace after the introduction of four substitutes – including a debut for new signing Kemar Roofe – and Gerrard warned that is not good enough.
He said: “They were three good goals – a piece of magic from Borna, a great team goal for the second and a good set piece for the third.
“But I thought we got really sloppy at 3-0. We let the game die instead of maintaining our standards. Over the course of the 90 minutes, we turned the ball over too much. So there is still a lot to work on.
“You probably think I’m a moaner but even though we won the game comfortably 3-0, we can still learn a lot collectively and as individuals.
“Tonight was our fourth game in 11 days and I made a lot of subs in the second half, so I’ll take my part in the game going flat and sloppy.
“There are a lot of positives. I’m not complaining, I’m happy.
“But we can’t pick and choose when we want our standards to be good. We never played like a top team at 3-0, we let the game fizzle out. We complicated a game which should have been easily managed.
“‘The players know that a Rangers team 3-0 up has to show a little bit more style and class. I thought we were very sloppy.”
The win nudged Gers ahead of Hibernian on goal difference to the table summit – and also opened up a five point lead on Celtic.
The Light Blues could be 11 clear by the time the Hoops are back in action if they can carry on their winning run against Livingston and Kilmarnock – but Gerrard is not getting carried away.
” I don’t think it is important (being top of the league),” he said. “What’s important is that we are winning football matches. We are keeping clean sheets.
“Tonight is the first time I have seen us sloppy. There were signs tonight that we are not where we need to be.
“But I’m pleased in the main at where we sit, of course, but it’s very early days and there is tons of football to be played. All we need to do is focus on the next game, which is Livingston.”
Saints made life difficult for Gers early on but Callum Davidson admitted “lapses in concentration” cost his side dear.
“David Wotherspoon gave away a free-kick for the first goal – you can’t give away stupid free-kicks at Ibrox. He knows that himself.
“I thought we limited Rangers to very few chances in that first half but we went in 2-0 down.
“The message was to not concede early doors in the second half but we lost a goal to a set-play and the game was over.”