24 May 2024

James Tavernier says Rangers need to do talking on pitch in Scottish Cup final

24 May 2024

Rangers skipper James Tavernier faces another fraught afternoon in Saturday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final against Celtic at Hampden Park.

The  Ibrox club swapped Michael Beale for Philippe Clement in October and although the Belgian boss brought the Viaplay Cup back to Ibrox in December, the Light Blues ultimately took just one point from four cinch Premiership games against their Old Firm rivals, who won their third successive title by eight points.

Another league failure against the Hoops has drained confidence from the Gers support ahead of the showpiece finale.

However, Tavernier, who signed from Wigan in 2015, tried to offer encouragement to fans who will head to Mount Florida with trepidation for the first Old Firm Scottish Cup final in 22 years.

The 32-year-old right-back said: “We have to give a performance for the fans and we obviously have to get the backing of the fans but first and foremost that comes down to us and the level of performance.

“We fell short in a few games this season. We have the Viaplay Cup, lost out in the league but we have a chance to get another trophy so we will do everything possible to do that.

“We obviously need that extra 10/15 per cent management during the games and the key the thing is taking our moments to give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve what we want to achieve.

“The boys have been training hard this week and we are really prepared for the game. If it is 90 minutes, 120 minutes or penalties, we are prepared.

“In the previous games (against Celtic), if certain moments were taken there would be different outcomes.

“I can speak all I want but we obviously have to do our talking on the pitch.“It (Old Firm final) has obviously not happened in a long time. I think it will be a game that people will want to watch.

“We will relish the moment, we have prepared ourselves the best we can this week and we can only do the talking on the pitch.

“I can say as much as I want up here and in other interviews, we have just got to do our talking on the pitch and make it happen.”

Gers boss Philippe Clement last week suggested that this Rangers team was coming to the “end of a cycle.”

However, Tavernier, played down his boss’ comments as he stressed he was committed to the last two years of his Rangers contract, amid speculation about a move to Saudi Arabia.

He said: “It is football. There are always moving parts, players, staff, people come and go, that is the nature of football.

“There is obviously people who are out of contract or if people come in with bids. It is football.

“Whoever is there next season, it will have a different look of a different team.

“I can imagine the gaffer wants to strengthen the team, there is always going to be changes.

“You don’t really look at it as a cycle. It is part and parcel of football. It is about finishing the season well.”

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