RANGERS have already been working hard behind the scenes to secure three new players – much to the delight of captain James Tavernier.
The Ibrox skipper has watched on as Gers have secured the services of Ianis Hagi on a permanent basis, Calvin Bassey and Jon McLaughlin.
Tavernier has been excited by the club’s early business, and speaking exclusively to RangersTV, he explained: “It’s fantastic to see, especially in the situation we are in. A lot of clubs are finding themselves in financial situations which are not on the plus-side for them.
“But it is great to see we are doing business in early-doors to strengthen the squad.
“It’s great to have Ianis back as he was a key part to us at the end of the season, and I have spoken to Calvin already and he is really excited to come up.
“So it is good we are strengthening the squad and showing the intent of what we mean this season.”
Tavernier, like the rest of his teammates, returned to the Rangers Training Centre last week in outstanding shape, and he put that down to the programme of hard work set by the club’s coaching staff for the players over the lockdown period.
“The gaffer gave us a schedule to do,” said Tavernier. “It was an intense schedule we had to keep at as we didn’t know if we were going to be back playing, so everyday we were doing sessions which Jordan [Milsom] sent over.
“So that kept us going every day, and it was good just to keep that fitness going and to keep in a routine.
“I’ve really enjoyed [being back]. We have had a long time off and I am just really relishing getting back training and kicking the ball around on the pitch.
“It’s something I have been looking forward to and I have really enjoyed being back in as I am sure all the boys have been.
“There are obviously smaller groups now and you are in your own space, but you are getting your fitness and you are getting a touch of the ball which I have definitely missed and we have all missed.”
Indeed, any fears the players may have had during the pandemic have been allayed somewhat by the superb work of Club Doctor, Dr Mark Waller.
Tavernier continued: “I think we are very fortunate to have the ‘Doc’ here at Rangers with all of his experience. I think he’s been leading, not only at our place, but in Scottish football he has been one of the leading figures who is tackling this virus.
“We are very fortunate to have him around the building every single day.”
Recent pre-seasons for Rangers have been much shorter than this one will be for the players, given European qualifying commitments they ordinarily have over the month of July.
That won’t be the case this year, with the first competitive game currently pencilled in for August 1 and the Premiership kick-off.
Tavernier feels this long period of preparation can be a massive boost for him and his team, and he added: “I think we will be ready. In the time I have been here, this will be the longest pre-season we will have had.
“Down south you normally get these pre-seasons where you can work on the team a lot more and I know we will have the chance to do that to work as individuals and work collectively as a team on the tactical side which we will need to apply this season.
“So I think it is going to be really beneficial for us to have all of this time we are going to be training on pre-season.
“We can’t wait to get back to competitive action. We’ve seen the games on TV and you are just itching to play a game.
“Of course, we have to only play when it’s safe to play, but all the boys can’t wait to get back and hopefully, when the fixtures get released, we can have something to look forward to.”