James Tavernier has vowed that Rangers will bounce back from Sunday’s League Cup final defeat to Celtic, as quoted by the Scottish Herald.
The Gers dominated the vast majority of the showpiece Hampden event, squandering a plethora of chances, including a penalty, ultimately succumbing to a Christopher Jullien goal.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow for players and fans alike, but the captain is adamant there’s a lot more to come from this side.
“You saw the character out there,” said Tavernier, as quoted by the Scottish Herald. “Not one person hid. This was a game we had to stand up like men and I believe our squad did that.
“I am extremely proud of them. I have great belief we will bounce back.
“We have another ‘cup final’ on Thursday and I believe in them, we will come out firing for that game…There is a lot more to play for out there. It’s hard one to take because we wanted to do it for the fans and bring silverware back to Ibrox.
“It wasn’t possible today but, like I said, our time will come. This is not the end of us. We have a great squad and I believe we will bounce back.”
Tavernier comes in for a lot of criticism from Rangers fans and there’s no doubt that at times this season, it has been justified. The skipper has made several high profile errors which have led to dropped points.
Yet, he really stood up to the challenge at Hampden on Sunday.
He was defensively solid and drove his team forward down the right side, sending countless dangerous crosses into the Celtic box. There’s no doubt he was one of the standout individual performers on the day.
Furthermore, those criticising him for not taking the penalty have simply got it wrong. That decision was taken out of his hands by the management team who chose to hand Morelos the responsibility well in advance of the final. El Bufalo won the penalty and missed it, it had nothing to do with Tavernier.
Finally, the captain has had abuse levelled at him for not coming out for interviews after bad results. Well, on Sunday, he faced the mainstream media before also speaking to RangersTV. Despite being visibly devastated, he stuck by his teammates and spoke extremely well.
A number of factors combined to see the Gers miss out at Hampden, but Tavernier couldn’t have done much more.