James Tavernier says Rangers’ performance at Sparta Prague proves no one has gone hungry

JAMES TAVERNIER insists that the way the Rangers served Sparta Prague on a plate proves that NOBODY in Ibrox has gone hungry.

Connor Goldson sparked fan fury after tearing up his Gers Teammates separated after Hampden’s humiliation last weekend towards Hibs.


Connor Goldson infuriated his supporters after Hibs
Ranger skipper James Tavernier


Ranger skipper James Tavernier

Accusing them of lacking desire, the defender admitted boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has a huge task to lift them up ahead of a massive Europa League clash.

But he lifted them, as two goals from Alfredo Morelos secured them a place in the round of 16 for the third year in a row.

Rangers skipper Tav said: “The boys are always hungry. They’re at Rangers for a reason.

“They’re with the Rangers to win trophies and games every week.

“When the boss arrived at the start of the week, I knew all the boys were really looking forward to working with him.

“You saw how it came out of Thursday night’s game. The focus was on the game plan and what the boss wanted us to do.

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“We did it the best we could in the short amount of time we had, but it will only get better as we work together.

“Hunger? You know this is one of those where weekend frustrations can crop up, you know it’s still very raw after a game. Hunger is always there for the boys. this club for a reason and that should never be in doubt.

“We’re always looking to improve and I thought Thursday night was a great example of the end of a really tough weekend to bounce back with a good result.”

In preparation for his first game, Van Bronckhorst ordered his players to keep the back door closed.

He had watched from the stands last Sunday Martin Boyle use a superb hat-trick in the first half.

And Tavernier believes the way Rangers players responded to this Hibs loss proves it will only get better under the new Dutch manager.

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He said: “It was really good to get the clean sheet and pass. It was important that we bounced back in the right direction after this disappointing weekend.

“I felt the boys were doing a really good shift after spending a few days with the boss working tactically and on whatever he wanted.

“I thought we implemented it in the game and we were delighted to have this clean sheet. We can build on that.

“These are small adjustments we made to the way we play. The boys really integrated him and really listened to what he wanted us to do.

“I think it was proven Thursday night with the counterattack. In attack and defense, we were really strong.

“It will only get better because we can work on it more and more. I can’t wait to improve it and work hard.

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Rangers face a tough journey to face Livingston on Sunday, but Tavernier insists they are all used to the man-made surface so maligned to this day.

He revealed: “It’s more or less the day of the game that you have to make the necessary adjustments.

“It’s a totally different surface from grass and it depends on whether it has been watered.

“If it has it will move fairly smoothly, but if it doesn’t it is obviously slow.

“We want to move the ball quickly, but we are all experienced in knowing what the surface will look like, so there will be no excuse for us.”

Meanwhile, Van Bronckhorst insists he barely stopped to catch his breath during a maniacal first week in charge at Ibrox.


He confessed: “It has been very eventful. Of course, arriving last week it was a pretty busy schedule with all the things we had to do, work permits, contracts, staff. For us, it was very busy. Also with the preparation of the team for Prague, we only had two days but they were long. This is normal when you have a busy schedule.

“It’s even busier when you change countries and surroundings, but everyone at the club was very helpful in making sure we were comfortable. I hope to have a normal week ahead of me. .

“When we get settled in it will be a lot easier and we can focus on getting the team ready for the games.”

Van Bronckhorst insists his players need to build on Thursday’s performance against Livi.

He added: “I am a coach and I was a player who always competed at the highest level. A win was always normal.

“You have to win games, you have to win prizes. This is the goal you have as a player, but also for me as a manager. So my job is to make sure we keep this drive.

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