Tavernier warns Rangers team-mates over Europa League clash
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Tavernier warns Rangers team-mates over Europa League clash

Rangers captain James Tavernier insists that the Gers are aiming to reach the last 16 of the Europa League after being drawn for face Portuguese side Braga – even if some of his team-mates wanted a glamour tie against the likes of Manchester United.

The Gers face the Primeira Liga side in February and Tav is “really looking forward” to facing Ricardo Sa Pinto’s men after coming through a group containing their league rivals Porto.

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Gers defender Niko Katic had spoken previously about his wish to face Man United and Tavernier has warned his team-mates they must respect Braga when they meet next year.

“I know some lads maybe wanted [a club] like Manchester United,” Tavernier told Sky Sports.

“Our job is to play Braga now. It is the first time that the club has played them so that will be exciting. Obviously our aim is to get into the last 16 and see where it goes from there.

“I can imagine when our group was drawn, the teams might not have feared us until they actually played us. We have got to respect them no matter what.

“They will have good players because to top a group with Wolves, who have been fantastic during their campaign, [is notable]. I am sure a trip to Old Trafford wouldn’t have been too bad but I am really looking forward to it.”

Before the Gers have to worry about a return to European competition, they have plenty on their plates domestically – starting with Friday’s trip to Easter Road to face Hibs.

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With Celtic playing Hearts in midweek, the Gers could head along the M8 five points behind their bitter rivals with an Old Firm clash rapidly approaching.

Steven Gerrard’s side simply can’t afford to drop any point over the next few weeks and it’ll be a big test of both the manager’s leadership skills – and those of his captain.