Jame Tavernier could make Rangers return in Old Firm cup clash
Steven Gerrard has revealed he could plunge skipper James Tavernier straight back into action in today’s Old Firm Scottish Cup clash with Celtic.
The club captain has been out of action since hobbling out of the 4-3 victory over Royal Antwerp with a knee issue.
Ahead of the fourth round clash at Ibrox, Gerrard revealed the 29-year-old would take part in full contact training for the first time yesterday and he’ll likely be brought back into the squad if he comes through the remaining two sessions unscathed.
“James will train with the team today full contact for the first time and it’s a situation we’ll make a real late call on,” said the Gers boss.
“There’s still two big sessions but the good news he’s on the verge.
“Assuming he has two strong sessions will probably push me towards involving him.”
Gerrard has stoked the fires ahead of tomorrow’s last 16 showdown at Ibrox after caretaker boss John Kennedy claimed Celtic are still the best team in Scotland.
Kennedy insisted he has shown Rangers “full respect” and that his comments were taken out of context, Gerrard though said he “doesn’t listen to anyone outside Rangers”.
He said: “I don’t really focus on anyone outside Rangers in terms of their opinions. I just focus on what’s happening inside here.
“On the 15th of May we’ll lift our 55th title as a club and I’ll be one of the proudest men on the planet.
“Where that sits right now, we’re 20 points clear with four games to play with the chance to go unbeaten. So I don’t need to listen to anyone outside Rangers to get a view on that. I know the reality and the truth.
“It’s a date we’re very much looking forward to as a club. Anyone’s views from the outside on that is not really important.”
Gers have won three out of the last four derby clashes but were not at their best as they pinched victory back in January thanks to a Callum McGregor own goal or in the 1-1 Parkhead draw last month.
However, Gerrard is refusing to worry about those displays as he eyes up a potential league and cup double.
“We are really proud of our season so far. A couple of defeats in late forties, nearly knocking on 50 games, I think it is a phenomenal record and a real level of consistency,” he said.
“It is very much for us. We need to find a performance that is good enough to progress and that is the only focus here right now.”
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