‘Signs’ that Rangers are getting ‘back to their best’

Rangers' James Tavernier at training. Picture: SNS
Rangers' James Tavernier at training. Picture: SNS
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Rangers full-back James Tavernier is confident they can kick off a run of victories against Dundee.

Mark Warburton’s side have won only five of their opening 12 Ladbrokes Premiership games and sit third ahead of the visit of Dundee, who have won two games in a row.

With the Joey Barton saga behind them following the summer signing’s departure last week, Rangers have the chance to build some momentum ahead of a tough month of fixtures before the new year, when they face Hearts, twice, Aberdeen, Celtic and St Johnstone among others.

Tavernier said: “We’ve almost been disappointed the way we have started the season. We have not played as well as we could do and dropped points where we shouldn’t.

“We have shown good glimpses of how well we can play football and if we carry on doing that then the points will come in and we will do better than we started off. We are getting there. The boys are gelling in and people are filling in for other people. It’s good.”

Rangers won their opening 11 matches in Tavernier’s debut season, albeit in a lower league, and the former Wigan defender is confident they can recapture that form on a consistent basis, despite drawing with bottom club Ross County on their most recent outing.

“We hit the ground running last season,” he said.

“I do see signs that we are 
getting to the best we can be and hopefully we can show that this weekend. There have been glimpses like I said, and I think the best is only to come.

“We have picked up quite a lot of points so far but we have not played our best, so as long as we play our best we can pick up maximum points.”

Dundee striker Marcus 
Haber is well aware of the responsibility he has for his team at Ibrox.

The former West Brom, 
St Johnstone and Crewe 
player has been an important factor in Dundee’s upturn in form in recent weeks. The 
target man made his debut in a 2-0 defeat by Partick Thistle which proved to be the final game of Dundee’s six-match league losing streak.

The 27-year-old has since formed an encouraging partnership with the technically gifted Craig Wighton in consecutive wins over Hamilton and Motherwell and netted his first goal for the club against the Steelmen.

“We have won two games, so that’s the first thing I look at,” said the Canada striker.

“If I can put in a good shift up there, hold the ball up, link with the team and score the odd goal then I feel like I am doing my job. But first and foremost it’s just about results.

“We have a good group of guys, the last two results have gone our way and we are looking to build on that. The group is confident, for sure.”

Haber is determined to help his team-mates ease the pressure at Ibrox this afternoon.

“They are a good team and playing away from home we have to be organised,” he said. “That’s something we have focused on a lot in training, keeping our shape.

“Obviously it’s going to be important for myself especially, when the ball comes to me, to hold it and make it stick and help my team-mates get up the park.

“I try to be a presence and an outlet for my team-mates and hold the ball up and link well with my team-mates.”