Tavernier: Rangers need response against Dundee to stay in title hunt

The Rangers captain says the team need to move on from their loss in Dingwall.

James Tavernier knows Rangers need to respond against Dundee to stay in title hunt SNS Group

James Tavernier concedes Rangers have to shake off the effects of their shock defeat by Ross County to get their title challenge back on track against Dundee on Wednesday night.

The Light Blues lost against County for the first time in 25 meetings in Dingwall with the 3-2 loss denting their prospects of overtaking Celtic at the top of the cinch Premiership.

Philippe Clement’s side were gifted a goal after 15 minutes when Staggies skipper Jack Baldwin turned the ball into his own net but the visitors did not take advantage.

Don Cowie’s men came storming out after the break with two goals in three minutes from Simon Murray and George Harmon before Josh Sims added a third in the 69th minute with Rangers reducing the deficit with a late Tavernier penalty.

Rangers remain four points behind leaders Celtic with a game in hand against Dundee, in a game which will be moved to St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park if the Dens Park pitch fails an inspection on Tuesday.

“It was really tough but first and foremost we have to earn the right to win games and we didn’t do that,” said the Rangers skipper.

“We came in after probably a poor first half, we knew the performance levels could definitely improve tremendously.

“We knew we had something to build on at 1-0 but to concede an early goal in the manner that we did and concede another two in the manner that we did was uncharacteristic.

“Since the gaffer came in we have been solid defensively but we have to look back at this as quickly as possible, learn from it and really focus for Wednesday.

“I have to look back on the goals and how we defended as a team but obviously to concede a goal in the second minute after half-time, it is not what you want to do, you want to start the second half positively and we obviously didn’t do that.

“We have to react to every single game and show the fans the performance levels that they know we can put in. Wednesday is a big game and we know we need to rectify it.”

With just six games remaining including a trip to Celtic Park after the split, Tavernier insists Rangers have the mentality to respond positively.

The right-back said: “I think we have shown it plenty of times, the mentality. But as I said you have to earn the right to win games and we didn’t do that. That is the disappointing factor.

“When you do get the chances in front of goal you have to be more clinical and put the ball in the back of the net.

“We have to put in a performance that the fans recognise and we recognise as a team. We go into every game trying to win the game, nothing changes there.

“We are obviously going into these six games and win every single game, that’s the Rangers mentality to win games, we go to win games in Europe so nothing changes there.

“We obviously have to earn the right to deliver the performance that we know that we can.”

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