Kris Boyd knows he stands little chance of repeating his phenomenal goal haul from last season.
However, the Rangers striker is determined to give it a go after bagging a hat-trick in the Bank of Scotland Premier League match at Kilmarnock yesterday.
Those goals brought his tally for this term to 19, meaning he still has a way to go to match last year’s 37.
He said: “I always just look to beat what I had last season but that’s going to be hard to do now. If I can get anywhere near it, I’ll be happy.”
Both Kilmarnock and Rangers benefited from his goals last season. Boyd has now netted eight goals in five games against his former club since his switch to Ibrox last January.
However, the striker refused to take all the credit.
He added: “The chances have come along and I’ve put them away but that’s probably credit to my team-mates for creating the chances. It’s a team game.”
Boyd’s opener at Rugby Park yesterday came courtesy of a controversial penalty decision from referee Dougie McDonald, after the forward went to ground under pressure from Simon Ford.
The home side furiously questioned how much contact had been made and whether the challenge was even in the box but Boyd stepped up amid the chaos to convert from 12 yards.
He then doubled the lead with a header, before netting his second penalty of the day when Nacho Novo was fouled by James Fowler.
Killie had already missed a spot-kick of their own by then, Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor saving Peter Leven’s effort.
The home side eventually had the ball in the back of the net thanks to Steven Naismith but it was not enough to spark a Kilmarnock fightback and controversy over Gers’ opener reigned afterwards.
Boyd admitted: “I was as surprised as anyone to get it but, once it was given, I wasn’t about to turn around and say ’no’, so I put the ball in the net.
“I hadn’t scored for a couple of weeks, so I was eager to get back on the scoresheet. It was a good result. It wasn’t the best in terms of keeping the ball but it was three points.
“Grinding out results wasn’t something we were doing earlier in the season. We’ll go home happy with the three points.”
Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies was crestfallen when he discovered McDonald will be the referee for their CIS Insurance Cup final against Hibernian next month.
He said: “I just found out today that he’s the referee for the League Cup final so I hope he has a better day than he did here.
“If he has another performance like that, there will be no point showing up.”