James Tavernier Acknowledges Rangers’ Trophy Drought and Defends Team’s Professionalism

Rangers’ captain James Tavernier candidly acknowledged the club’s lack of silverware in recent years. He also stepped up to defend his teammates against accusations of unprofessionalism. Tavernier, who has been an integral part of the team for eight years and has served as captain for five of those years, recognizes the fans’ disappointment with the limited trophy haul during his tenure.

Tavernier’s time at Ibrox has seen the Light Blues clinch one top-flight title, a Scottish Cup, and a Championship. However, this modest collection of trophies has led to criticism from some quarters, with a significant portion of the blame falling on his shoulders as the team’s leader. Despite the criticism, Tavernier remains resolute in his commitment to the club and its expectations.

He acknowledged, “When you retire, you will always look back at the trophies you missed out on. You can’t beat around the bush. It’s obvious we haven’t won enough trophies here. The team has tried to push, but at times we’ve not been good enough. Myself and Connor have always tried to push as much as we can, and as a team, we all want to win trophies.”

Tavernier also expressed his faith in his teammate, Connor Goldson, whom he described as “the best centre-back I’ve played with” and praised his efforts to improve the team. He also commended the new manager, Philippe Clement, for instilling a winning mentality and demanding excellence from the players. “He knows how to win, and it’s great to have that pedigree behind you,” Tavernier remarked.

The Rangers’ captain is optimistic about the team’s future under Clement’s leadership, saying, “We’re showing good signs of what we can do, and he’s only just in the door. So, we are all excited as a group of players to continue working with him and really push to see what we can achieve.”

In addition to addressing the club’s trophy drought, Tavernier also defended his teammates from accusations of unprofessionalism. Manager Philippe Clement had emphasized the need to raise standards by introducing practices such as the use of a cryochamber to improve fitness and recovery. Tavernier, however, stood by his fellow players, stating, “I believe my teammates are very professional already.”

He went on to explain, “It’s not like the lads are out on the weekend on the drink. We’re really professional, and most of them have families.” Tavernier acknowledged the importance of focusing on recovery and small details to enhance the team’s performance and emphasized the squad’s commitment to using all available resources to achieve their goals.

Tavernier underscored the importance of collective squad fitness and readiness, saying, “It’s maybe been unfair on some lads who have been out for a long time and then asked to come into a game and give it their all. They’re not really at that fitness level and start breaking down again. I think it’s about looking after the squad, where we need to be, how strong we need to be, and we’ll all be effective together.”