RANGERS skipper James Tavernier admits he has been puzzled by the team’s alarming dip in form since returning from the mid-winter break.

Steven Gerrard’s side have won only three of their six Premiership games – all at home against St Mirren (1-0), Ross County (2-0) and Hibs (2-1) – while drawing 0-0 with Aberdeen at Ibrox and losing twice on their travels to Hearts (2-1) and by the same scoreline to Kilmarnock last night.

WHOOPS BEFORE THE OOPS…Steven Gerrard celebrates Scott Arfield’s strike.

The latest flop has left the team a massive 10 points adrift of a Celtic team, 5-0 victors over Hearts, who are in full tilt for a ninth successive title.

Right-back Tavernier, speaking to the BBC, said: “I honestly can’t answer for the last two Januarys.

“We’ve gone from ending the year on a high both times and putting ourselves into good positions and then coming back and I can’t put my finger on what’s happening.”

A year ago, the Ibrox men returned to action after beating Brendan Rodgers’ team 1-0 and were brought crashing back to earth with a 2-1 defeat from Killie at Rugby Park.

SEVEN AND OUT…Rangers players can only stand and stare after Stephen O’Donnell’s leveller.

Tavernier, whose side have a game in hand, added: “We’re not getting out of the blocks at the start of the year and it’s costing us.

“We’ve made it harder for ourselves, definitely. We had it in our hands and knew what we had to do. It was as clear as day.

“Go all the way until the end of the season unbeaten and we’d be in a very good position, but now we’ve made it very hard for ourselves with a shocking display in the second-half at Kilmarnock.”

Scott Arfield had fired the visitors into a deserve lead in the opening 45 minutes, but the wheels came off late in the game when some atrocious defending allowed Stephen O’Donnell to level before Eamonn Brophy zipped in the winner in the fading moments.



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.

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