JAMES TAVERNIER insists Rangers will be genuine title challengers next season – if they cut out the errors that jeopardised their bid to derail Celtic in Steven Gerrard’s debut campaign.

The Ibrox captain gave his side the lead inside two minutes against the champions in the 2-0 home victory on Sunday that edged them six points behind the Parkhead men.

The Hoops, of course, claimed their eighth successive crown the previous week in a 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie, but they were undoubtedly second best in Govan where Scott Arfield netted the second killer goal after the hour mark.

It was Gerrard’s outfit’s second triumph at Ibrox over their Glasgow neighbours following the 1-0 success in December. Celtic also won their home encounters, 1-0 in September and 2-1 in March.

But the latest Gers victory has given the club hope they are on the brink of ending their rivals’ period of dominance in Scotland.

Tavernier, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “We have to take this performance into the new season. Over the past five games, we have shown a real dominance in the way we have played and in the system we have worked on.

“We definitely believe we need to carry that into next season, but, on this occasion, we were exceptional.

“Yeah, we’ll be frustrated looking back on parts of this campaign. Once the season ends, it is those other games where we have lacked consistency.

“If we learn from those lessons before next season, then we will definitely be in a title race.

“There are positives there. So, if we can take them, and look at and correct the negatives, then I believe we will be in a really good position.

“We have gone toe-to-toe with Celtic, who have obviously deserved to win the league. That is down to us with our lack of consistency.

“But we feel that we have got the team and the manager is going to strengthen in the summer. We are in a good position.”




About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

Loading ...