We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish has said that James Tavernier has “fitness levels that a lot of other players don’t possess” as the right-back continues to shine this season. 

Tavernier has played all 25 games for Rangers so far this season but with no senior cover in his position, Steven Gerrard will not want to lose him.

However, McLeish has said that Tavernier is one of a small group of players who just don’t get injured – and pointed to Jurgen Klopp’s work at Liverpool by way of comparison.

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Talking exclusively to Ibrox News Mcleish said, “James has got an inherent fitness, so that may be slightly natural but he will have built that up over time.

“When you do your pre-season training every year the body builds up a kind of immune system to injuries, but you don’t want to overload and play in certain situations.

“But he has got fitness levels that a lot of other players don’t possess. When Jurgen Klopp first came into Liverpool he wanted the gegenpress and players were getting injured left, right and centre because they weren’t trained for it.

“But in the last few seasons you haven’t seen them get injured, unless it was a bad collision as we have seen with Van Dijk, but certainly the Liverpool players have got fantastic engines.

“I don’t know if it is a coincidence, but Gerrard is an ex-Liverpool guy and he will be looking at those statistics as well and trying to emulate them.”

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There’s no winter break this season and the fixtures continue to pile on for Rangers as they fight at the top of the Premiership and in the Europa League.

Rangers have already qualified for the Knockout Stage in Europe and that could take some pressure off Gerrard, although he will still want to win the group.

In other Rangers news, Ibrox View: Jim White rips into Celtic statement in broadside Gers fans will love

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