James Tavernier inspired by Brazilian duo as stunning Rangers form continues

PA

James Tavernier has revealed the secret behind his incredible scoring streak after opening up on his admiration for Brazilian heroes Marcelo and Dani Alves.

The Rangers skipper continues to rack up astonishing numbers from right-back as he spearheads the Ibrox outfit’s title push.

He netted his 17th goal of the season on Sunday with a sublime 30-yard free-kick against Dundee United before chalking up assist number 13 of the campaign as he swung in another set-piece for Connor Goldson to head home the winner.

The Ibrox faithful have christened the Englishman the Blue Cafu, but Tavernier admits he takes his inspiration from another Brazilian duo after name-checking former Barcelona ace Dani Alves and current Real Madrid full-back Marcelo as his idols.

He said: “I have always liked to get forward. I just love to assist my team-mates and score goals, even in training I love to do that.

“I look to the likes of Marcelo and Dani Alves, they are very attacking Brazilian full-backs with a lot of flair.

“When I was growing up they were playing so it was always something I was hoping to replicate, but you have to make your own name and make your identity and that’s what I am trying to do.

“I am just trying to get better every day and make the team better.”

Tavernier’s younger brother, Marcus, is currently on Middlesbrough’s books but with just one goal for Boro this term, there is not much of a family rivalry when it comes to finding the net.

And the Ibrox captain is challenging himself to top the scoring charts as he aims to keep Rangers on track for prizes.

Steven Gerrard’s team conceded their first domestic goal since September when Liam Smith briefly levelled for United, but Gers dug out another victory as they maintained both a 27-game unbeaten record this term and their 13-point lead at the top.

“I spoke to my brother the other night,” Tavernier said. “We both work in fives, so I will hopefully now get to 20, then 25.

“He is doing the same also, setting targets. But it is something that will always be a bonus.

“The main objective is coming away with three points, secondly a clean sheet. We are devastated not to do that yesterday.

“I could probably have done a bit better with the first goal and move my feet a bit better to stop the cross and we have to deal with it at the back post, although you cannot take away from the quality of the finish. But I am always happy to help the team.

“We started the season really well and this is the strongest squad since I have been here.

“No matter who is selected we can perform strong. Everything is going in the right direction. We just have to keep this momentum going.

“Yesterday is up with the strongest wins we have had this season. We dominated the ball. United had a couple of chances in the first half and obviously got their goal, but we have seen out the game and controlled it on a bad pitch. I’m delighted with it.”

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