How Rangers captain James Tavernier proved his credentials in face of rare missed penalty

James Tavernier has not been without his detractors over at Ibrox – but criticism of the Ibrox skipper doesn’t wash with Andy Halliday.

The Hearts midfielder, a colleague of Tavernier for five seasons, has always backed the Englishman’s claim to the armband as one of the dressing room leaders at Ibrox, and says he proved his captaincy credentials in the weekend win over Dundee.

Rangers missed a first half penalty, but ground out a 2-1 win in the face of several disruptions, a bobbly pitch and an underwhelming display at the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park where second-half strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Connor Goldson completed their comeback and kept the title race alive.

Halliday says Tavernier’s strength of character was central to that – even if he did miss from the spot.

Rangers' James Tavernier during the cinch Premiership match at the Kilmac Stadium, Dundee. (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

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Speaking on the OpenGoal podcast he said: “I stick up for him all the time, but I've always hated the 'James Tavernier isn't a captain' at Rangers.

"Look at [Sunday], misses a penalty and doesn't let it affect him.

"The full second half, he's the one driving the team forward and constantly getting on it.

"So he showed his marbles, didn't he?"

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Tavernier lifted Rangers’ first league title in ten years last May and was top scorer in the Premiership-winning campaign with 19 goals in all competitions – from right-back.

This season he has contributed another dozen strikes so far as Rangers defend their trophy, but the reigning champions are three points off the top and face leaders Celtic on April 3.

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