Rangers’ James Tavernier hails ‘focus and determination’ after Dumbarton rout

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring his side's sixth goal against Dumbarton.
Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates scoring his side's sixth goal against Dumbarton.

The outstanding James Tavernier underlined the focus and determination that ensured there was no faltering at Dumbarton as Rangers maintained their three-point advantage over Hibernian at the summit of the Championship.

Veteran frontman Kenny Miller fired home a hat-trick while goals from Martyn Waghorn, Andy Halliday and Tavernier completed a convincing win.

“We wanted the same kind of performance that we displayed on Monday, we didn’t want our standards to drop,” Tavernier said.

“We kept the motivation going. We have to be relentless when we’re playing – we want to score as many as we can.

“We were determined not to let our standards slip going into the New Year. It can be difficult when you’ve got two banks of four against you. You’ve just got to find your way through.

“Andy found Kenny for the opener – you’ve just got to keep trying to break teams down,” he added.

“To set up three goals was a massive bonus and then to get a goal myself was fantastic.”

The full-back paid tribute to three-goal Miller, emphasising his team-mate’s professionalism.

“Kenny’s been a great player. His attitude has been fantastic since the beginning of the season. He’s got great discipline on and off the park. He sets an example and today it paid off for him. Everyone looks up to him. He still has that hunger and desire.

“You learn a lot from different players. I was with Alan Smith and learned a lot from him. He worked hard every day and always wanted to win.”

Rangers manager Mark Warburton paid tribute to both Tavernier for his outstanding display and Miller for both his goals and his work ethic.

“In the first-half, James would be the first to say that little bit of quality on the final ball wasn’t quite there, but in the second-half he was excellent. His goal was a tremendous finish with great technique, so I am delighted for him,” he said.

“Kenny knows he is impacting the team and he has fully justified his new contract. He scored goals earlier in the season, and he contributes so much both on and off the pitch.”

Warburton was full of raise for his team’s display.

“It was a really pleasing performance. We knew this was a tough place to come with the wind and a heavy pitch but our tempo was good from the first whistle as was our all-round quality.

“We pressed and worked hard together, so I’m delighted. It was important not to let our standards drop after Monday. Whether there are 50,000 or 2,000 you’ve got to work just as hard to get the rewards.”

New signing Harry Forrester from Doncaster Rovers was ineligible to play but Warburton was at pains to stress that there will be no automatic place for the new arrival.

“Harry knows he has to work his way into the team - there are no guarantees for anyone. He is a technically gifted player who knows he has to bring something different to the team and I have no doubts he can do that.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old Polish goalkeeper Maciek Gostomski from Lech Poznan.