James Tavernier: I’ll only be a successful Rangers captain if we challenge


James Tavernier is aiming high with Rangers

James Tavernier believes he will only be a success as captain of Rangers if he helps the club challenge for the Scottish Premiership title again.

The Ibrox club start their new league campaign at Aberdeen on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football, as they attempt to become champions for the first time since 2011.

Although they closed the gap on Celtic last term – Rangers finished 12 points behind their rivals rather than 39 in 2016/17 – they were still some way from matching their Old Firm opponents.

New manager Steven Gerrard has made 10 signings so far and early Europa League results suggest improvements have been made – with Tavernier clear on what would make a good campaign.

The Englishman said: “It would be challenging for the title. We are Rangers, so we always have to be challenging for the title. You can’t expect anything less.

“We know we’re always going to create chances in the opposition’s final third but we obviously want to keep more goals out. With the players we have this season, we have a good chance of that.”

Tavernier is now into his fourth season with Rangers and will spend this one as Gerrard’s captain, replacing Lee Wallace following his dispute with the club after April’s Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic.

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The former Wigan full-back believes his team-mates will help him settle into the role – including the man he has taken the armband from.

Tavernier added: “It was a great honour for him (Gerrard) to give me it in the first place and if I need any wisdom, the gaffer speaks volumes of the staff he has brought in.

“I can do the same. They’ve been fantastic since they came in and if I ever need a helping hand, I can always go to the gaffer or Gary Mac.

“Waldo’s still there to help us as well. We’ve got a lot of great leaders in the squad at the minute – Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson and Scott Arfield included. We’ve a really good set of boys.”