Captain James Tavernier reveals the instructions that saw relentless Rangers rack up EIGHT goals against Hamilton
James Tavernier was devastated not to claim a hat-trick but delighted Rangers were back to keeping clean sheets in the SPFL Premiership demolition of Hamilton Accies.
The Rangers captain scored twice in the second half and could have had a third but despite another stellar contribution in attack for the home side, the captain was more pleased with the clean sheet at the back after conceding three during the midweek Europa League draw with Benfica.
Tavernier slotted in a penalty after Jermain Defoe was fouled, and struck again just after the hour to wrap up the scoring at eight goals, but he could have had another when he mistimed a header to meet Calvin Bassey’s cross and also fired into the side netting of Ryan Fulton’s goal.
He said: “I’m devastated I lost Calvin’s cross in the lights and couldn’t get on the end of it but I’m always happy to contribute to the team and delighted – but I’m more delighted we’re back to clean sheets and going into the break on good form.
“We know we have had games where we should have finished teams off more. Everyone was contributing with goals and assists.
“We left it all out on the pitch with the relentless work that we do through the 90 minutes and that showed in the 4-0 score at half-time. We kept going, we wanted to get back to clean sheets and get back to numbers and people did rack up numbers today.”
And the Rangers captain revealed the half-time instructions that saw the Gers put Brian Rice’s team to the sword, seven months after a shock 1-0 reverse at Ibrox in Rangers’ last domestic defeat back in March.
Asked on RangersTV what the half-time team-talk was with the home side 4-0 up, Tavernier revealed: “We had to go out as if it was 0-0 and keep doing the same and ‘don’t take the foot off the gas’ - keep doing the right things. We have had times going in at half time where we’ve been leading and we’ve made the second half harder for ourselves - we didn’t want to do that.
"Its about good habits and I’m pleased we were relentless for the 90 minutes.”
He added: “It’s been coming and our intensity really pushed them at the start of the game and I’m happy we contributed so many goals.”
Tavernier will take a rest over the international break having been ever-present since the league campaign kicked off and wished his travelling team-mates well while speaking to the club’s in-house TV stream.
He is one of few who has retained their place in the Rangers side as Steven Gerrard utilises his squad to good effect so far this season.
Tavernier added: “I’d praise the gaffer, management team and club and how they have dealt in the transfer window and how they’ve improved the squad and the depth in it.
"Boys were in the starting line up getting their chance and at half-time Calvin and [Bongani] Zungu came on and Brandon [Barker] came on for a goal too.
"It is tremendous we have a strength in the squad that we can rely on everyone in the team.”