James Tavernier: Beyond My Wildest Dreams

by 24britishtvMarch 31, 2024, 2 a.m. 22
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JAMES TAVERNIER insists it’s beyond his wildest dreams to make history by becoming the UK’s highest scoring defender ever in the 3-1 win over Hibernian.

The Rangers captain’s stunning volley - after earlier seeing a penalty saved - saw him notch his 131st senior goal and surpass former Motherwell manager Graham Alexander.

The skipper’s opener was cancelled out by Myziane Maolida, only for Cyriel Dessers’ header to restore the Gers’ lead in first-half stoppage time.

Rabbi Matondo’s curling strike sealed the win which returned Philippe Clement’s men to the top of the Premiership table.

Tavernier praised his team-mates, past and present, for helping him reach his goal tally but joked his wife was to blame for his spot-kick miss.

Speaking to RangersTV, he said: “It’s a crazy achievement.

“If you said when I started my professional career, it would be possible to become the highest scoring defender in British football history, I wouldn't have believed it.

“It is down to the team-mates I have had for giving me the assists. I could have got it a few games ago but I am delighted to get the win and get on the scoresheet.

“I am blaming my wife for the penalty as she told me to go down the middle.

“I have the freedom to play here. The way we play allows me to be really attacking. I have always had an eye for goal but I never really converted them until I came here.

“I am delighted and hopefully I can continue to score more goals.”

Tavernier believes the squad showed their character throughout the 90 minutes against Hibs as they made it 22 games unbeaten against the Easter Road side.

That surpassed a 100-year-old record which had stood from October 1912 to October 1922 against the side from the capital.

He added: “This is a big three points.

“I thought in the first half we could have done a bit better. We could have controlled it more and we were too eager to press.

“We got the two goals which was good but we nullified them other than their goal.

“It was important to get back in front. I blame myself for the Hibs goal but it is about having that strong mentality to respond.

“We have that and we know we can stick in. We have great foundations to bounce back.

“I was delighted for the lads coming back like Abdallah Sima and then Rabbi getting on the scoresheet.

“It is important that the squad is healthy and fit. The gaffer said he is going to have a headache now with his selections but as a captain and team-mate you want everyone available as it pushes everyone else.”
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