By Ben Brown

17th Apr, 2022 | 7:10pm

Neil McCann lauds James Tavernier for Rangers performance v Celtic

Ex-Rangers winger Neil McCann was left gushing over James Tavernier after his crucial role in their Scottish Cup triumph against Old Firm rivals Celtic.

The Gers’ skipper sent in the cross which Scott Arfield swept into the top corner and defended superbly all afternoon as Fashion Sakala bundled in a dramatic winner in extra time.

Tavernier also played the full 120 minutes in the Europa League victory against Braga on Thursday evening, and McCann was left in awe of the energy levels on show from the 30-year-old.

“James Tavernier has defended really well, the fitness that the boy shows is absolutely out of this world,” he told BBC Sportsound during live coverage (17th April).

Just Reward

After all their recent exertions, this feels like deserved reward for Giovanni van Bronckhorst and all his players.

Tavernier comes near the top of that list of most worthy, the skipper netting twice against Braga and playing a big part in today’s crucial equaliser.

To play 240 minutes in four days is a gargantuan effort and the Englishman deserves huge credit for helping to drag his side over the line in both competitions.

It was just over a week ago the club was painted with disappointment after their league defeat to Celtic, which likely gives the Scottish Premiership title to their bitter rivals.

Now though, the club have a European semi and domestic final to look forward to, no small factor in that being the influence of their captain Tavernier.

In other Rangers news, Tavernier himself identified two current players who deserve huge praise from supporters.