Steven Gerrard appeared to take a dig at a section of Rangers fans during a RangersTV interview following the win over Motherwell, for their continued criticism of James Tavernier.
The Gers skipper has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks after a series of high profile errors.
At the beginning of the month, he made two big mistakes in the Europa League against Young Boys which allowed the opposition to come from 1-0 down to win 2-1.
Then, last weekend at Tynecastle, another failure to clear lead to Hearts opening the scoring.
Against ‘Well on Sunday, things went from bad to worse when he missed his third penalty of the season when his side were trailing 1-0. The miss brought about a big reaction on Twitter, with fans calling for him to be stripped of spot-kick duties.
However, he then provided the assist for Filip Helander’s late winner and Gerrard has once again moved to back his skipper.
“James has obviously been in the firing line for a couple of weeks, he’s had a tough time,” the manager told RangersTV. “Today, there were a few more groans which is not helpful, but, he’s shown great character by putting in a perfect delivery.”
“He never hides. I think James needs me at the moment, I think he needs his teammates.
“I don’t think there’s a lot wrong and he’ll play through this and come back to his best, which is top.”
It’s certainly understandable that fans were frustrated after the penalty miss today, given that it’s the third miss from four this season for Tavernier.
It’s clear that he’s recently been poor defensively, too.
However, he also showed a glimpse of his value in the second half.
Despite the adversity he’s facing, he helped drive the team forwards in search of a winner and when he got the chance, he delivered a perfect cross for Helander to head home.
These are strong words of support from Gerrard. It’s not often he pushes back against the fanbase, but it seems he’s eager to send the message out that the skipper needs support rather than more scrutiny and criticism.