Rangers’ 2-1 win over Aberdeen earlier this month triggered an overwhelming sense of confidence and relief.

Thoughts were swirling around my head in the aftermath. Mostly, I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, this team are now capable of a title challenge led by a Belgian who has stormed into all of our hearts. I waited gleefully in the press conference ready to speak to the manager.

But then my phone rang and it changed everything. It was home calling but not in relation to the kids. I answered and was told that it was my Dad - he was gone.

I don’t really remember much after that aside from leaving Ibrox with others who made sure I was in a fit state to get home.

That euphoric feeling that shadows a big win suddenly disappeared. In the last few weeks, I should’ve been flying, loving every second of our club winning game after game. But it’s tricky to do that when your head is elsewhere even if the 90 minutes of a match brings some solace.

I felt I owed everyone who’s been asking after me an explanation. I want to say thank you to all who’ve been in touch during this difficult period.

Rangers have provided a glimmer of hope in what has been a tough few weeks personally with some beautiful football sending us two points clear at the top. It feels good writing that - because it’s been quite a while since I have! We've been led there by the captain, James Tavernier.

Everyone knows I’ve been highly critical of Tav in the past when it’s felt as though he wasn’t producing anywhere near his best level of form. After Philippe Clement's arrival, however, that form has shot up. Tav isn’t a captain who will roar at others on the pitch or grab somebody by the collar. He leads differently.

Tav provides on the pitch and has stepped up to lead by example so often. When we needed somebody to step up and win the League Cup in December it was, predictably, our right-back who provided the goal. At the time of writing, Tav has a staggering 19 goals and 10 assists this season and it’s only February.

Rangers Review:

It’s quite ridiculous.

As Rangers have risen to the top of the league Tavernier has been central to it all. With just the three assists in a 3-1 win over Ross County and a double from the spot against St Johnstone.

I’m always tough on our own players, probably too tough at times, but as Tavernier closes in on more records the 32-year-old only continues to write himself into the history books.

He can cement that place in the coming months with more trophies.

Read our two-part exclusive with James Tavernier...

Whether you love him or find him frustrating there is no denying that we’ll all miss Tav's contribution in years to come. I’ve certainly been too harsh at points although, perhaps, it’s because of the ridiculously high level he’s capable of performing at consistently.

The team's job is far from over. As unlikely as it seemed when we slumped to defeat against Aris, Rangers’ season is on an upward trajectory and full of potential. I don’t want to set targets or talk about ‘what ifs’ because Clement’s success has been his tunnel vision, allowing everyone to take one game at a time.

Wins take us where we need to be. It’s simple but true. Our destiny is in our hands. For those of you who haven’t been in a title race with Rangers… brace yourself!

This is where it gets good and this is where it gets fun. The anguish, the nerves, the worry, the excitement, the joy, the tears and the madness are all about to arrive as we start this 12-game sprint from home. There will be twists and turns, highs and lows.

The message is a simple one as we block out all the noise.

Just keep winning, take us home to glory.

Home, where growing up was the best place to be.