Steven Smith details the improvements in James Tavernier as Rangers captain bids for Premiership glory

THE goals and assists will be a source of personal satisfaction for James Tavernier as he leads the Ibrox charts this term.

And Steven Smith knows the Rangers captain won’t settle for second best in the Premiership as he bids to end the long wait for silverware success this season.

Tavernier’s 17 goals and 14 assists have been hugely important for Steven Gerrard’s side as Rangers have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the league campaign.

The right-back has been the best player in the country so far this term and former Gers star Smith has been impressed and encouraged by the way his levels and standards have risen once again.

“I think he has improved dramatically and there is a confidence as well,” Smith told the Rangers Fans Corner on Ten10 Podcasts.

“If you watch him now, he is playing with a real confidence. It is the positions that he is taking up and I have mentioned this on RangersTV. I have never seen a full-back taking up the positions that he is taking up.

“The crosses are coming in from the left side from Barisic and he is in the middle of the six yard box. For me, that is coaching, but it is him playing with a real confidence as well and he is wanting to get those numbers up.

“It is a fitness thing as well and I don’t think I have ever seen him look tired this season. He looks fresh constantly and I mentioned those runs into the box, that is a difficult thing to do constantly for 90 minutes.

“Some games you are watching, 89 minutes on the clock, the team is winning comfortably and he is still making those runs into the six yard box when the ball is coming in from the left hand side. It is brilliant to watch.

“There is a different side to James Tavernier this year and having the privilege of being at the games, you can hear him and he is really vocal. In terms of when the team is going to try and win the ball back, he is the voice from the back.

“Him and Connor Goldson lead by example and he is driving people on and looks to have a real drive and determination. I think he knows, even with the numbers that he is producing, he knows that he needs to have a trophy as Rangers captain.”

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