JERMAIN DEFOE, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Monday, has warned Rangers “there is still a long way to go” after going top of the Premiership at the weekend.

The former England striker, whose loan period from Bournemouth expires at the end of the season, is not getting carried away with Steven Gerrard’s team’s success at overtaking eight-in-a-row champions Celtic.

The Hoops toppled to their first domestic defeat of the season when they were shocked 2-0 at Livingston on Sunday.

The game kicked off at noon and Gers knew exactly want they had to do when they faced Hamilton Accies later in the afternoon at Ibrox to get back to the pinnacle for the first time in 10 months.

Defoe crashed in his second hat-trick of the campaign – the other came in a 6-1 win over Hibs – to hoist his goal tally to 12 from 14 games as the home side walloped their opponents 5-0 to go two points ahead of the Parkhead outfit.

However, Defoe, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “You don’t want to boast about being top of the league, there’s still a long way to go.

“We have to respect our neighbours, everyone in the league and continue what we’re doing. When you’re lifting the trophy at the end then you can do what you want and properly celebrate.”

Asked if he could play into his forties, Defoe answered: “The way I feel now, easily.

“I do everything right, which is easy for me. My recovery, training, knowing how to manage myself. All the things you should do, I do. I think it’s showing in my performances.

“He (Steven Gerrard) has said to me he’s delighted with how I’m playing, but not just that, with how I am around the place with the younger lads, helping everyone. It was nice for him to say that.

“I want to stay. It’s a special football club – you feel it.”