Rangers' James Tavernier speaks on Livingston's plastic pitch and how it impacts on game - 'no excuses'

Rangers captain James Tavernier admits the pace of the Scottish champions’ play could be impacted by the playing surface at Livingston on Sunday.

Rangers captain James Tavernier says the Scottish champions will make 'necessary adjustments' for the away game at Livingston on Sunday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Rangers captain James Tavernier says the Scottish champions will make 'necessary adjustments' for the away game at Livingston on Sunday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

But the full-back insists he and his team-mates won’t be able to blame the artificial pitch if they fail to deliver another victory for new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst in his first league match in charge.

Rangers take a four-point lead at the top of the Premiership table into the weekend fixtures and will kick-off in West Lothian three hours before their nearest challengers Celtic host Aberdeen.

The speed of Rangers’ play was one of the most eye-catching aspects of their display as they beat Sparta Prague 2-0 at Ibrox on Thursday night to qualify for the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Tavernier knows reproducing that form will be a challenge at Livingston where Rangers dropped two points in the corresponding fixture last season.

“It’s more or less on the day of the game you have to make the necessary adjustments,” he said.

“It’s obviously a totally different surface from grass and it depends on whether it’s been watered. If it has been, then it will move pretty slick, but if it hasn’t then it’s obviously slow.

“We want to be moving the ball quickly, but we are all experienced to know what the surface will be like so there will be no excuses for us.”

Tavernier is relishing the fresh approach of van Bronckhorst which had an instant impact against Sparta as Rangers qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League for a third consecutive season.

“It’s little tweaks we’ve implemented to how we play, the boys have really taken that on board and really listened to what he wanted us to do,” said Tavernier.

“I think it was proved on Thursday night with the counter-attacking. In attack and defence we were really solid.

“So I think it’s only going to get better because we will be able to work on it more and more.

“When the boss came at the start of the week I knew all the boys were really looking forward to working with him.

“The boys are always hungry. They are at Rangers for a reason. They are at Rangers to be winning trophies and to be winning games every single week.”

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