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James Tavernier: Staying focused on task at hand key to Rangers success

Kilmarnock v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Rangers skipper James Tavernier believes focus has been the key to their impressive run.

Steven Gerrard’s side went nine points clear in the Scottish Premiership with a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, where they had only won once in their previous seven league visits.

Unbeaten Rangers have won 16 games out of 18 in all competitions and kept 15 clean sheets.

Tavernier said: “Game by game we’re really focused on the job in hand.

“The gaffer and the management team, we all spoke about it at the start of the season.

“That’s what we’ve been doing when we’ve been coming into games because we know these were the speed bumps that affected us last season.

“It’s about making sure we don’t make the same mistakes, take it game by game as if it’s a final and trying to get maximum points every time we play.

“It wasn’t really the performance we wanted to put in but this is a tough place to come.

“In previous years they’ve taken points off us so we’re delighted to get the win and the clean sheet.”

Tavernier netted his sixth penalty and 10th goal of the season to seal the points.

“It was nice to see another one go in the back of the net,” he said.

“I just keep working hard on taking them on the training pitch.

“I’m delighted with the record but I’m more delighted with the 15 clean sheets we’ve kept since the start of the season.”

Rangers now take on Benfica in Lisbon on Thursday with both sides sitting on six points from two games in Group D of the Europa League.

“We’re relishing it,” Tavernier said. “As soon as the draw was made you see Benfica, it’s a fantastic stadium used for the Champions League final.

“We’re all really looking forward to going over. We’re both on the same points and these games take care of themselves.”