JAMES Tavernier and his teammates will head to Pittodrie tomorrow ready for a battle – that’s according to the Rangers skipper.

The captain has promised fans they will see a performance that they haven’t witnessed against Aberdeen so far this season. Rangers have drawn one and lost two against the Dons this season, one of those coming in the League Cup semi-final.

Tavernier insists the Light Blues won’t get drawn into “fiery” nature of the encounter and will let their football do the talking to keep the pressure on Celtic at the top.

Speaking to the media he said: “Every game we come up against Aberdeen is always a tough game, it is just as big as against Celtic.

“The fans want a win and the boys want a win so we have to go up there and show the level of consistency that we’ve shown in previous games. We must put on a performance.

“It is the second part of the season and every game is a must win for us. We have got to go up there wanting the three points, nothing less and we know it’s that stage of the season where we can’t afford to drop any points.

“We have got to expect Celtic to be picking up maximum points so we have got to go up there and get the three points.

“We will show a level of performance that we haven’t previously against Aberdeen and show we can put the ball in the back of the net in the final third.

“We expect it to be a fiery game and we have to stay level headed. We expect a battle but we can’t get in the mix of the chaos, we have to go there with calm heads and not get involved if anyone tries to wind us up.

“We will go up there, go toe to toe with Aberdeen and we’ll let the football do the talking.”

Tavernier was asked by the media about his decision to hand the ball over to Jermain Defoe for the fourth of Rangers penalties against St Mirren.

The captain could have rounded off a hat-trick of spot kicks, he missed one and scored two, but elected to allow the new striker to bag his first home goal.

The 26-year-old now has 11 goals for the season and some of the most assists in the league – good going for a right-back.

Tavernier continued: “I am still looking to improve that, I still believe my numbers could be higher so it is about working hard and pushing myself.

“I have to get myself in the right positions and keep delivering the right ball for the strikers or midfielders to get on the end of.

“It has been made clear that from now on I won’t be giving the ball to anyone else. If I am on the pitch I will be taking the penalties.

“It was something I decided to do; give Jermain the ball to score his first home goal. When I grabbed the ball he asked me if he could and told me the reason why.

“It was one of those things where I just gave him the ball, he is my teammate and I am not too selfish if he wanted to take it.”


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