Steven Gerrard is backing James Tavernier to continue as the Rangers penalty taker despite his miss against Aberdeen [Scottish Sun].
The Gers skipper had been flawless from 12 yards this season prior to Sunday’s fixture, scoring nine from nine in all competitions.
However, he sent his first-half spot-kick wide of the right post at Pittodrie.
It never looks good to miss the target from the spot but the fact that the right-back had sent Joe Lewis the wrong way and had much of the goal at his mercy made the aesthetics worse than usual.
Gerrard temporarily took Tavernier off penalty duties last season after a series of misses, but he has confirmed that he isn’t considering any such action this time around following a solitary failure.
“It shows he’s human first and foremost,” said the Gers boss [Scottish Sun]. “He’s an excellent penalty taker for sure but he got that one wrong today.”
“But we will still support him and back him. I think when you’re a penalty taker, the reason you’re selected is that it can’t affect you whether it’s successful or not.
“If you score a goal you can’t let it go to your head, you have to focus on your job and James is a defender. And vice-versa if you miss one and get it wrong. You’ve got to continue doing your job for the team and I thought he did that.”
It’s the right call from Gerrard to stick with Tavernier, who has shown outstanding quality from set-pieces and in open play so far this season.
The 29-year-old did make a rare error at Pittodrie but it didn’t prove costly, and he went on to play a big role in the excellent Alfredo Morelos’ opening goal.
Tavernier’s overall penalty record at Rangers now stands at 29 scored and six missed.
You can watch full reaction to Sunday’s win over Aberdeen on the Rangers News YouTube channel.