JAMES TAVERNIER was thrilled to get his side off to the best possible start in today’s Old Firm game with his first goal against Celtic.
The Gers captain took just one minute and 50 seconds to curl a stunning free-kick past goalkeeper Scott Bain and the Light Blues went on to enjoy a thoroughly deserved Old Firm victory, with Scott Arfield also finding the net after the hour mark.
Tav, speaking to RangersTV post-match, was understandably pleased with his side’s dominant display and, of course, his sweet early strike.
He said: “I really enjoyed it. It’s obviously a relief, it’s taken me long enough to score against them, but I’m really happy that I’m off the mark and that set the tone for the game.
“I had a little conversation with Razza (Ryan Kent) before it. He’s said just to aim for the back post and see if it can go all the way through.
It’s one of those where I hit it really well and it landed in the back of the net. So I was buzzing and I didn’t know where to run afterwards. It was just a great moment.
“I thought the boys were exceptional today from start to finish. We had to take it to Celtic and go toe to toe with them.
“We know that if we get a hold of the possession we have got good enough players to keep it.
“I thought off the ball we were exceptional as well and we were well disciplined. So it was a really good all-round performance from the boys.
“There were so many positives. I thought all the lads – the lads that came on and the lads that started, Wes came in, everyone – wore the jersey with pride today and showed the fans how much it means to them.
The second goal was exceptional as well. Glen’s good feet then Jermain’s left it for Scotty and it’s a great finish.
“I’m obviously really happy that we kept a clean sheet as well and it was a great save from Wes that he stopped from Edouard. So buzzing.”
Tavernier also heaped praise on his teammate Arfield, who scored and was named man of the match after his all-action derby display.
He said: “He’s been exceptional since we have adapted to that new system. He’s been popping up with the goals left, right and centre so he works really hard for the team and he’s a great guy. I’m really happy for him to score today.”
Rangers now have one league game remaining at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park next weekend, and Tav is targeting another win to end the 2018/19 campaign on a high.
He added: “We’ve got to enjoy this moment but we’ve got to apply ourselves like we have done for the last five games now, stick to the game plan and do what the gaffer wants us to do and take it to Kilmarnock and finish off the season strong.
“We can’t have any lapses and we must put in a performance for the last game of the season. I expect the boys to put in another good shift.”