Kenny Miller fears Rangers’ promotion bid could be derailed by the Ibrox side’s rollercoaster run of form.
Gers suffered the first defeat of new boss Stuart McCall’s six-game reign on Thursday night as they slumped 3-0 at Queen of the South.
It was an especially flat display after the high of recent Scottish Championship victories over Hearts and Hibernian.
The Light Blues - who remain behind the Easter Road side in third place on goal difference - now have five games left, starting with Raith on Sunday, to leapfrog Hibs and spare themselves the effort of playing two extra ties in the play-offs.
Finish third and they could even be sent back to Palmerston - where they have now lost twice this season - for another testing clash with Queens, provided James Fowler’s side see off Falkirk in the race for fourth.
But the worry for striker Miller is that Gers’ lack of consistency could wreck their chance of a Premiership return.
The 35-year-old said: “Last night was a reminder that we have not turned the corner and that there’s a lot of hard work still to be done.
“It was a performance that summed up out season a little bit. That ‘consistency’ word has come up a lot this year.
“We seem to have a couple of good performances and then complacency kicks in and we take our foot of the gas.
“If we go back three games to the Hibs result, I don’t think anyone could have seen that coming. Fast forward three games and I don’t think anyone could have seen the result last night coming.
“We have to nail down that consistency and get to a level of performance that we can pretty much guarantee every week. Might this inconsistency come back to haunt us in the play-offs? It could do, yes.
“There is no point winning 1-0 or 2-0 at home and losing 3-0 away - that means you are out. It’s about getting that level and balance right. We need to get back to where we were at against Hibs.”
Miller is one of 12 players whose contracts expire this summer. But boss Stuart McCall is in no position to start handing out new agreements until the club knows which league it will be playing in next season.