James Tavernier adamant Rangers are moving ‘in right direction’ as skipper remains desperate to emulate 2008 heroes

James Tavernier insists Rangers are still heading in the right direction despite being on the verge of relinquishing their title.

The Ibrox skipper was the first Gers player in a decade to get his hands on a major prize when he hoisted last season’s Premiership trophy aloft.

However, yet another January collapse means the silverware is heading back across Glasgow barely 11 months after they wrestled it away from Celtic.

But while that disappointment stings, Tavernier is also just 90 minutes away from marching Gers out into a major European semi-final – the club’s first since their 2008 run to the UEFA Cup showpiece – if his side can overturn their 1-0 deficit to Braga in Thursday night’s Ibrox Europa League showdown.

And Tavernier reckons overcoming Carlos Carvalhal’s Portuguese outfit and qualifying for the last four would represent another huge leap forward for a club who were still mired in the Championship ignominy when he first moved to Glasgow seven years ago.

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“I think there was a plan, especially when I first came in the doors, to move this club forward and get back to the days of European finals, especially the one in 2008,” he said. “You want to be replicating it.

“I’ve seen the images of all the fans that went down to Manchester. You want to replicate that, you want that to happen to yourself as a player.

“We are moving in the right direction as a club. We’re progressing.

“That’s the aim – never to stand still, always progressing and making ourselves better every single day.

“We want to obviously get to a semi-final, most of the boys haven’t done that.

“It’s a massive game for ourselves and we’ve got to leave everything out on the pitch when that final whistle comes.”

Gers have hit the heights during this year’s impressive run, dumping out favorites Borussia Dortmund as well as Red Star Belgrade.

Their hopes, however, of going further are hanging in the balance after Abel Ruiz fired Braga’s first-leg winner.

But the captain reckons his side have the weapons required to outgun the Arsenalists.

He said: “I’ve seen plenty of lads come in and out of the door but this year I feel this is the best squad I’ve been with.

“The people that have been here before have put down great foundations for the club to move forward and we’ve got the people now who can take over and keep moving it forward.

“It’s been a roller-coaster, but there’s good times again. We’re always chasing to be better and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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