Tavernier keen to avenge Old Firm defeat with victory over Kilmarnock

The Rangers captain scored a late free-kick in the 2-1 defeat at Celtic Park.

James Tavernier keen to avenge Old Firm defeat with victory over Kilmarnock SNS Group

James Tavernier knows Rangers have to bounce back quickly from Old Firm frustration when they host Kilmarnock on Tuesday night.

The 2-1 defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday was the first loss for manager Philippe Clement in 17 games since taking over from Michael Beale in October and it left the Light Blues trailing the cinch Premiership leaders by eight points, albeit with two games in hand.

The Gers skipper scored a terrific free-kick in the 88th minute to make it a nervy ending for the Scottish champions, who had been leading through goals from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi before Rangers defender Leon Balogun was sent off at 2-0 for denying Celtic striker Daizen Maeda a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Tavernier looks forward to putting things right against Killie at Ibrox in the final game before the winter break.

He told RangersTV: “It is an important game and obviously we have to play really good football because Kilmarnock are in form.

“We have got to play the best we possibly can, the way the manager wants us to.

“It is important to get the three points to finish before the break and there are plenty of games after that.”

On the disappointing defeat by their Old Firm rivals which dented their title hopes, Tavernier reflected: “They were more clinical than us. Yes, we created some really good chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net.

“We have just got be a bit more clinical in front of that goal and it could have been a different score line, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“So obviously there’s positives to take and like I said a few weeks ago, there’s plenty of games to play. And we’ll continue working hard.

“We have an important game on Tuesday before the break and we’re going to make sure we get three points on the board.”

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