By Craig Turnbull
James Tavernier says he would love to become “an instant legend” at Rangers by scoring against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
The full-back notched his 14th goal of the season last week with a stunning volley against Peterhead to help them win the Petrofac Training Cup.
However, he knows, in the eyes of supporters, netting a winning goal against the Hoops would usurp everything he’s done so far in a Rangers jersey and elevate him to a level of greatness.
“Would a goal against Celtic top everything else? A hundred per cent. You hear a lot of people saying if you score against Celtic you become an instant legend.
“My first and foremost thought is to get a clean sheet and put in a really solid performance against them, if I get a goal it’s a massive bonus.”
Tavernier and the rest of the Rangers backline will come up against one of the players of the season in the form of Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths, who has 37 goals to his name, but Tavernier insists his team-mates can nullify his threat.
“As a defender and as a defensive unit we’ve been good this season,” he said.
“There have been a few mistakes throughout the season but if you look at the goal record against us it’s been really good.
“First and foremost we want to keep a clean sheet. We’ve done that in the past two games so we’ve set up a good platform for ourselves.
“It’s going to be tough, he’s a goal machine but I’m sure we’ve got a good enough defence that we can stop that.”
And Tavernier dismissed any suggestions that Rangers might have to rein in their expansive style of football under Mark Warburton against their city rivals.
“Not a chance,” he insisted. “That’s what I’ve been brought up here to do, that’s how I play my football and I can’t stop being me for just one game.
“These are the games where you want to shine and want to make a difference.”