James Tavernier: Second best won’t do for Gerrard’s Rangers

James Tavernier says Steven Gerrard has already raised standards at Rangers. Picture: John Devlin
James Tavernier says Steven Gerrard has already raised standards at Rangers. Picture: John Devlin
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James Tavernier thinks the days of accepting second best at Ibrox are over now that new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is in charge.

The defender has been impressed by his first few days working with the former Liverpool and England skipper and his back-room staff.

Tavernier was signed from Wigan by Mark Warburton in 2015 on the promise the Ibrox club were building to be competitive once they reclaimed their place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

But two years on from securing promotion, Rangers have failed to overtake Aberdeen never mind Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Celtic.

However, with Gerrard now demanding nothing but the best from his squad, 
Yorkshireman Tavernier says things are finally looking up.

He told RangersTV: “Most of the time it still feels strange he is my manager. When he strikes a ball with so much ease, stuff like that is a little bit surreal. I know he is the 
gaffer now and you do get those little moments when you find 
yourself going, ‘That’s Steven Gerrard over there’.

“Having Gary McAllister here as well is a big thing to me because of Leeds United. He is basically a Yorkshireman now so it is great to have him and his character around.

“Michael Beale too is great, his knowledge of the game is superb. We also have a bunch of Scousers in now and it is fun, it is a good set-up.

“They have raised the 
standard higher which has always needed to be done because it has dropped over the years.

“Straight away I have noticed the standard and where he wants it and the boys have responded really well.

“Even from doing small passing drills and our little boxes the level has already gone up.

“The whole new staff who the gaffer has brought in are fantastic, there is a great combination that they have got going on. We are all enjoying the training and we all believe in what he wants us to do.”