James Tavernier defends Nathan Oduwa following controversial start to Rangers loan deal

James Tavernier has moved to defend new team-mate Nathan Oduwa.

Rangers defender James Tavernier has told the club's official site that he will encourage new signing Nathan Oduwa to showboat again in the future.

Tavernier, 23, arrived at Ibrox from Wigan Athletic earlier this summer, and has already become a fan favourite after yet another goal on Sunday, as the right back hit the opening goal in the 5-1 win over Alloa Athletic.

It was a thumping win for Rangers, but the fallout from the game has surrounded Rangers' new signing Nathan Oduwa, who came on as a substitute.

The 19-year-old, who joined Rangers on a season-long loan deal from Tottenham late last week, was handed a late cameo by manager Mark Warburton, and he certainly dazzled with pace and sensational trickery.

However, Alloa Athletic players were far from pleased with Oduwa's showboating, and whilst they took it as a mark of disrespect, Tavernier has moved to defend the player.

Speaking to the Rangers official website, Tavernier says that if Oduwa's skills can help Rangers win games, then he will encourage the youngster to continue his showboating.

"As soon as Nathan came on he was doing his tricks and his step overs and he was pulling them off as well," said Tavernier. "As long as you pull them off in the right areas you can do whatever you want and the late one when he flicked it over the guy’s head, some of their boys weren’t happy with it. But if it’s something you can pull off and it benefits the team and creates a chance then by all means he can do it."

Oduwa made a real claim for a place in the Rangers starting XI with his display against Alloa, but given how defenders will now be targeting him, Warburton may look to ease him into a starting role after his controversial start to life in Scottish football.

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