Whittaker - Gers won't let up

Defender insists points penalty would not dampen title dream

Steven Whittaker: Rangers' players remain fully focused on events on the field

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Steven Whittaker claims the unity which exists within the Rangers camp means even a 10-point penalty will not be allowed to dent their title aspirations.

The reigning Scottish Premier League champions face the threat of administration after becoming embroiled in a £49million tax bill row with HM Revenue and Customs.

The matter is to go to a tribunal, with a hearing set to be held in January.

It is possible that the Gers will not learn their fate until the end of the season, but they understand that there could be severe repercussions this term.

A points deduction would make it all the more difficult for the Glasgow giants to defend their crown, but Whittaker insists there would be no heads dropped inside the Ibrox camp.

"We don't think about the stuff going on in the background because we're focused on the football side but when people talk about us possibly being deducted 10 points it does make you think," he told the Daily Record.

Knock

"It would be a knock for us and for everything we've achieved so far this season.

"From the start of the season our only aim has been to build as big a gap in the league as possible. We have worked hard to get into the position of being 12 points clear.

"So if that was taken away from us through no fault of our own then, yes, it would be a sore one. We can't look too far forward but if it happens then we'll cope with it.

"We'll react in the best possible way to still win the league. That would be some achievement! But, certainly, winning the title would still be in our sights even if a deduction did happen.

"But at the minute we are 12 points ahead. If Celtic win their game in hand it would be nine but we want to keep stretching our lead and piling the pressure on the teams around us."