By Daniel Lewis

15th Sep, 2023 | 8:40am

Barry Ferguson reacts to talk of James Tavernier being stripped of Rangers captaincy

Barry Ferguson insists there are “more pressing issues” for Rangers to deal with right now than whether James Tavernier should remain captain.

Tavernier’s place in the side has been called into question due to the Gers’ leaky defence, having conceded 11 goals in nine games he has played in this season.

Rangers have won just one Scottish Premiership title since the 31-year-old was appointed captain ahead of the 2018-19 season, but Ferguson believes he deserves to retain the armband for now.

“Those are more pressing issues for me than who’s captain,” Ferguson wrote in his Daily Record column [15 September].

“Of course, people will say Tavernier hasn’t won enough trophies at Ibrox, which is correct. But there’s still plenty of time to turn that around this year and the season is far from over.

“It’s fine criticising the manager and the captain but listen, now is a time for every single person in the football department to take collective responsibility and turn it around.”

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Beale’s support

Tavernier remains pretty much Rangers’ biggest attacking threat given his ability to score from all over the field, including from set-pieces.

But there is no doubt the Gers’ defence needs tightening up, with just one clean sheet in their past six matches highlighting that.

Criticising Tavernier’s form is one thing, but to suggest he deserves to be stripped of the captaincy due to a lack of team success seems harsh.

Manager Michael Beale, under intense pressure himself, made clear prior to the international break that he is happy with “fantastic” Tavernier.

“There is not a right-back in football who won’t be taken on once or twice,” Beale told reporters after the 1-0 loss to Celtic on 3 September.

All Tavernier and Rangers can do is find some form in the hope the questions disappear for the time being.

Three points at St Johnstone on Saturday [16 September], and a clean sheet to boot, will be a great starting point.

In other Rangers news, one of the Gers’ official partners has described recent goings on at Ibrox as a “travesty”.