No chance I'll change style against Celtic - James Tavernier

Rangers right-back James Tavernier insists there is 'no chance' he will rein in his attacking instincts against Celtic.

Rangers' James Tavernier will be looking to get into his second cup final this season. Picture: SNS
Rangers' James Tavernier will be looking to get into his second cup final this season. Picture: SNS

Tavernier has scored 14 goals so far in his debut season at Ibrox and is arguably seen more often in the opposition box than his own.

With Lee Wallace equally forward-thinking at left-back, the Ladbrokes Championship side might have been expected to be more cautious against the Premiership leaders in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

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But Tavernier shot down suggestions he would have to temper his attacking runs.

“No chance,” the 24-year-old said. “That’s what I have been brought up here to do, that’s how I play my football.

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“I can’t stop being me just for one game. These are the games you want to shine and you want to make a difference.

“I’m really relishing the chance to get on the park on Sunday and put in a great performance.”

Tavernier scored a spectacular volleyed goal at Hampden last Sunday in Rangers’ Petrofac Training Cup final win over Peterhead.

And he said: “You hear a lot of people say if you score against Celtic, you become an instant legend.

“My first and foremost thought is to get a clean sheet and a really solid performance against them, and if I get a goal then it’s a massive bonus.”

Rangers’ defence came under scrutiny last month when they conceded nine goals in three Championship games but Tavernier is confident they can stop Leigh Griffiths adding to his 37 goals this term.

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“As a defender and as a defensive unit we have been good this season,” he said.

“We have had a few mistakes but the goal record against us has been really good. First and foremost we want to keep a clean sheet and we have done that in the past two games, so we have set a good platform for ourselves.”

On Griffiths, he added: “It’s going to be tough, he’s a goal machine and he does score a lot of goals but I’m sure we have a good enough defence that we can stop that.”

The former Newcastle player is relishing the prospect of his first Glasgow derby and has been doing his research on the fixture.

“It’s probably one of the main things to come up here and play for Rangers,” he said.

“Obviously the main aim was to win the Championship and the games would come but to get one in my first season, I am really looking forward to it.

“I have heard a lot about it. I have only watched a couple of games but never actually been to a game, so it’s definitely going to be a different experience in my life and career.

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“There is a lot of hype and you hear a lot of stories about the atmosphere, so I am really relishing Sunday.

“I have seen some Old Firm games on YouTube and the atmosphere does seem massively crazy.

“I have experienced a lot of Newcastle-Sunderland derbies and there is a lot of hype there but I have heard it is times 100 up here, so it’s a different story and it’s going to be crazy being part of it and playing in it.

“I have a lot of friends and family coming up, so it will be a special day for them.”