STEVEN GERRARD tonight confirmed James Tavernier as his captain for the upcoming season.
Tavernier, who wore the armband for the latter stages of last season and again tonight for the entertaining 6-0 demolition of Bury at Ibrox Stadium, will retain his position as skipper for the entirety of the campaign.
Boss Gerrard has been thrilled with what he has seen from Tavernier in pre-season, and, speaking to RangersTV, explained why he has made him his leader on the pitch.
“I’m delighted with him,” he explained. “Not just the performances, but the character, the man and the leader. He has been through some highs and lows here of late, but he is one who has been very consistent.
“I know the fans like him very much, but we have been working with him for 17 days and he has been fantastic in every single department.”
A double from Scott Arfield as well as single strikes from Nikola Katic, Jamie Murphy, Alfredo Morelos and youngster Zak Rudden completed an impressive first outing for Gerrard’s men in Govan.
And, while pleased with what his side produced this evening, Gerrard firstly paid tribute to the Rangers supporters, who turned out in a superb crowd of 41, 015 in the Glasgow sunshine on a night to remember for the Liverpudlian.
“I loved it,” he continued. “The turnout has been building all week and we got just above 40,000, which for a friendly in the summertime is an incredible turnout.
“So we thank them for that and the support, and the boys responded to it. I said to them before the game you have a responsibility to excite and entertain this crowd – that is the responsibility of being a Rangers player.
“To be fair to them, they have gone out, they have performed and they have excited, and I am sure they are going away really happy.
“We are happy, but there is still work to do.
“[We got the] clean sheet, but if we want to be successful as a team, then it is very important we stop conceding stupid goals here at home. That is a very important thing, so I am delighted with the clean sheet, I am delighted with our reaction when we give the ball away – we went and tried to hunt it down.
“The energy and the fitness – to be fair to Jordan Milson – I think we’re are at day 17 now and the lads are looking really good.
“We are in a good place, but we need to keep building on it.”