Sport James Tavernier shoots down Rangers theory as bullish skipper declares he's 'not buying it'

09:35  26 november  2020
09:35  26 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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James Tavernier , the Rangers captain, became the latest player to be targeted when he had to dodge a lighter thrown from the home support during his It needs to stop.” Arfield benefited from woeful Motherwell defending as he struck twice before the interval to move into double figures for the season.

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James Tavernier has shot down the theory the Rangers squad are thriving because they don’t have the pressure piling down from the Ibrox stands.

The skipper insists he’s gutted the supporters are missing out on seeing their sizzling side turning on the style this season.

Tavernier has heard this closed-doors notion a few times now... Rangers couldn’t handle the heat last term, the occasional grumbles in the stands get to them, they are free to get on with it with thousands of empty seats in front of them.

The captain isn’t having it. He would much rather have the punters packed into Ibrox. If anything, he reckons they are missing out this season.

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James Tavernier says that despite the points gap that Rangers are closing in on Celtic. Celtic won the Old Firm derby clash on Hogmany 2-1 but it could 'Whenever you lose an Old Firm game, it ' s not a great feeling,' Tavernier said. 'We're still disappointed about it . 'We felt we had chances to wrap up

Gers have come out of the blocks like a steam train this season. Steven Gerrard’s men are unbeaten in Europe and unstoppable on the home front, shattering records along the way.

The football on show has been sensational as well and Tavernier would love nothing more than having Rangers supporters around to roar them on – especially in tonight’s Europa League showdown with Benfica.

Asked if Gers are thriving without fans, he said: “I don’t buy into that.

“I don’t believe so. We’ve been in really good form since the start of the season and playing some of our best football.

“We’ve maybe got some results we wouldn’t have got in the past. But it’s a shame the fans can’t get in.

“We’ve been together for a couple of years now and we are getting stronger and better with the players added.

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He was signed by then Rangers manager Mark Warburton for £200,000, helped the Glasgow side win the Championship title and promotion and has amassed an impressive strike rate for a defender of 26 goals. Tavernier joined Rangers from Wigan Athletic.

“Nothing has really changed from last year in terms of Europe. We always relish facing the big teams and playing in European football.

“Obviously this season is a bit different with no fans and you don’t get to experience the big European nights at Ibrox and the away grounds.

“But the boys love the occasion and always step up to it. Hopefully we can do the same this time and do the club proud.

“We are in a great place at the minute and have worked extremely hard over the

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course of the season to get where we are.

a football player on a field © Jane Barlow/PA Wire

“There’s a long way to go but it’s so far, so good. We know there are still areas we can improve and all the lads are willing to make that difference.”

Tavernier has played in all 21 Rangers games this term – drawing just three of them in all competitions – and it’s going to get even more hectic in the next month as matches come thick and fast.

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“I didn’t see it ,” he says of the Morelos red card. “I was getting told off the ref it was a kick.” 73 mins: Rangers showing little sign of weariness despite being down to ten men while Aberdeen perhaps feeling the burn of Burnley and extra time on Thursday.

It may be deep breath time as they could clinch Europa League knockout stage qualification tonight, the Betfred Cup is coming up and the league race will hot up ahead of the New Year derby showdown.

Bring it on, as far as Tavernier is concerned. The full-back is in the form of his life, having grabbed 13 goals this term already, and isn’t looking to put his feet up any time soon.

The 29-year-old said: “There’s nothing better. As a footballer, you want to play as many games as possible.

“The schedule coming up will be game, recover, game but the boys are looking forward to it.

“I can’t wait for the busy schedule. I’m just really enjoying my football and that’s down to the lads I’m playing with – and the licence the gaffer and the coaching staff have given us.

“I’m still looking to improve myself and that will continue. A lot is down to the management team but it’s down to everyone in the squad.

“From day one it’s been really driven in training, we are always demanding the best from each other.

“It could be two v twos, five v fives, or little games, it’s always so competitive. I think that brings out the best in the team.”

Tavernier is gearing up for a crucial spell but won’t take his eyes off Jorge Jesus’ side this evening.

Gerrard’s troops have a nagging feeling they let the Portuguese big guns off the hook at their place. At 3-1 up, Gers were flying and giving Benfica a chasing.

But they let the advantage slip and, although a point in Portugal was a more than decent return, there was a feeling of what might have been.

Tavernier is wary of a Benfica backlash but there is a belief in this Rangers side, regardless of who they face.

He said: “Benfica are undoubtedly favourites – they are one of the favourites to win the competition.

“So we know it’s still going to be a tough game. They have very good players but I believe in my team.

“We know our capabilities. If we stick to the gameplan given by the gaffer and the coaches from the first minute then we should put ourselves in a good place.

“We need to be fully concentrated.”

'Never felt so relaxed'; 'Glad to see Defoe get a goal'; 'Alexa play Live it up': Rangers fans react to 4-0 win over Ross County .
Rangers fans were in party mood after seeing their side see off Ross County 4-0. © Rangers players celebrate Jermain Defoe's goal. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group) After the Dingwall side defeated Celtic last weekend there was an assurance among Rangers’ players they would not achieve an Old Firm double, and so it transpired. © Alfredo Morelos is substituted for Jermain Defoe. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group) Jim Steele: “I've never felt so relaxed watching Rangers for many years but this team is just relentless and reaping the rewards.

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