Walter Smith revealed an improved work ethic was behind Rangers' ascent back to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after watching his side sweep past Dundee United.
The champions romped to a 3-0 win in their rearranged fixture at Tannadice to move a point clear of arch-rivals Celtic. DaMarcus Beasley scored his first goal since the 2008 Scottish Cup final to hand the visitors a half-time lead before a Kenny Miller double had the champions home and dry with 15 minutes remaining.
"You always want to be at the top of the league," said Smith.
"We start out every season hoping to be there but you've always got to be prepared for times when that doesn't happen.
"We are delighted to be there, considering the the way the fixtures have panned out.
"At the end of each of the quarters we play, we face the teams who are currently at the top of the league."
Smith hailed the performance of midfielder Beasley, who recently revealed he may need to quit Ibrox if he is to play enough first-team football to get in the United States' World Cup squad.
Smith said: "He's been terrific.
"But the whole team are probably working harder now than they have done at any stage of the season.
"They've been doing really well in terms of that, not just in overall play - which has been good in recent matches - but their determination to work. That's been a big factor."
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