Steven Gerrard has pleaded with the Rangers fans to lay off skipper James Tavernier after the 2-1 win against Motherwell on Sunday.

Tavernier missed a penalty in the first half – his third missed spot-kick this season – although he did provide the assist for Filip Helander’s headed winner.

It was another average game for him, though, in a season when he’s really struggled on the pitch.

Tavernier has come in for some sustained criticism from fans this season, after a noticeable dip in form, and some parts of the Ibrox crowd made their feelings known on Sunday.

Talking after the game, Gerrard said, “I would like the crowd to help him a bit more. Sometimes when it’s tough and you are not at your best, you need your crowd to be with you rather than against you.

“So a plea for the crowd to stay with him because he will play through it and he can change games, like he did for us today. It’s a fantastic delivery for Fil’s [Helander] goal. But James needs his people now, it’s important.” [BBC]

This is the classic football debate.

The supporters are the lifeblood of any football club and they’ve got every right to have their say if things aren’t going well on the pitch.

However, when it moves past general criticism to a sustained campaign against one player, there’s an argument that you’re actually hurting the player and the club.

Tav hasn’t had a good season but he’s still a key player for Rangers and Gerrard knows it.

It’s time to back him and the Rangers fans have to rally round and do something positive. This season is going to be tight and we need Tav back to top form.

Maybe take him off penalties though, Steven?

In other Rangers news, Leckie wrong with claim about Rangers & Celtic after weekend results

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