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McAllister: Tavernier is a top player who will bounce back

The Rangers coach says the right-back can win supporters over after recent criticism.

Rangers coach Gary McAllister has backed club captain James Tavernier to win over supporters after recent criticism, saying the player can use the setbacks as motivation.

Tavernier's performances have been under scrutiny after errors in recent games and, after the defender missed a penalty against Motherwell on Sunday, manager Steven Gerrard asked fans to ease off on the player.

McAllister said that things would turn around for the player but spoke from experience when advising Tavernier to let the barbs spur him on.

The Rangers coach retired from international duty with Scotland after becoming a target for fans and he said he knew what his player was going through.

"I've had similar circumstances but you can use that criticism as a wee bit of incentive to show people," he said. "He is working extremely hard but if you can show your team-mates and fans that you are grafting for the jersey, you will soon win them back. And I'm sure he has won them back already.

"From the minute we arrived here he has been particularly outstanding - very robust, he has hardly missed a training session and been available for nearly every game.

"That's something you have got to be able to produce when you wear the armband, someone who is reliable. He has come in for wee bits of criticism but he can cope. It goes with the territory."

"Backing yourself [helps you deal with it], always trusting your own ability, and knowing you have good team-mates behind you as well. As a management staff we fully trust the guy. He has our backing and I'm sure the fans will get behind him. He is a player who is very pivotal and influential in our tactics and discipline. He is a top player."

However, McAllister would not be drawn on whether Tavernier's penalty miss, his third of the season, would mean that the responsibility for spot kicks would be passed on to anyone else.

"I will not be telling Ross County who is taking our penalties, I'm afraid," he said. "The situation has been spoken about obviously but I am not giving anything away. Time will tell."

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