Nicholl questions role of Rangers right-back James Tavernier next season

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates

Rangers right-back James Tavernier scored an impressive 15 goals last term.

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates

Former manager Jimmy Nicholl has suggested Rangers have signed Lee Hodgson to compete with James Tavernier as a result of the latter perhaps having to adapt his game, the Scottish Sun reports.

Tavernier was one of the Gers’ standout players last season, scoring an impressive club record 15 goals from right-back as he helped the Ibrox club win the Scottish Championship and Petrofac Training Cup.

The former Wigan Athletic man found himself playing almost as a right winger due to Rangers’ dominance over their opponents, yet that may change when the club begin their Scottish Premiership campaign.

James Tavernier scores the first goal for Rangers

Talking to reporters about the situation, ex-Gers man Nicholl feels Tavernier could be pushed into a more defensive role this coming season and adds that as a key reason behind the addition of Hodgson.

“Tavernier was really good last year. He knows how to get forward and score. But it’s going to be different this year. It won’t be as easy for Rangers this season,” Nicholl told the Scottish Sun.

“Tavernier scored all those goals last year and was able to play high up the park. Will Rangers be as adventurous this year? Maybe. But maybe the defensive side of the game is going to be a lot more important to them and to Mark, which is where Lee comes in.”

Rangers' James Tavernier fouls Celtic's Patrick Roberts

Rangers will be among the challengers for the Scottish Premiership title this season but rarely will they beat their opposition by four or five goals like they managed on occasions last term.

Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts will also be in the hunt and Mark Warburton’s side’s title hopes could depend on how well they fare against their fellow rivals gunning for that top spot.

Tavernier has proved himself to be a very capable attacking player running from deep, but this coming season he may find himself having to play more cautiously and at times on the back foot.

Barry McKay celebrates with James Tavernier after scoring the second goal for Rangers

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