Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is now suggesting that he wants to give James Tavernier less football moving forward as Nathan Patterson emerges.
Rangers beat Hibernian 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, with captain Tavernier left on the bench.
Nathan Patterson was given the nod at right back, with Tavernier completely unused.
Tavernier did play the whole game against Sparta Prague just days earlier, so Gerrard chose to rest him.
In times gone by, Tavernier may have taken on both games – but Patterson arriving on the scene has changed things.
Rangers no longer need to throw Tavernier out there every single game, and Gerrard has commented on the situation.
Gerrard comments on Tavernier
Gerrard told The Scottish Sun that Tavernier is ‘very robust’, but Rangers ‘want less games’ out of Tavernier moving forward, with fans maybe likely to see more of Patterson.
“Tav is capable of playing 55, 60 games. He is very robust,” said Gerrard. “But he had an injury at the back end of last season and we feel we have over-used him. We’ve had back-ups come in and try and offload him, but we haven’t had back-ups of the quality of Nathan, who is a Scotland international.
“We have got just as much trust in James as we have in Nathan. We want less games out of Tav, but with more quality and foot to the floor. I believe that will help him the group,” he added.
Rangers would still miss Tavernier
Yes, Patterson is an outstanding talent. He could be starting for Rangers and Scotland for 10 years or more if everything goes to plan.
Tavernier is a different animal though.
The 29-year-old’s attacking output has been frankly ridiculous.
Tavernier has smashed 66 goals and 94 assists in 301 appearances for Rangers, proving to be deadly from set pieces and open play.
Patterson doesn’t quite offer as much as Tavernier right now, and there will be games when Gerrard needs to call on Tavernier – even if he maybe doesn’t want to.