Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has waxed lyrical about Ibrox captain James Tavernier following his superb display for the Light Blues last night.
Rangers have successfully navigated the Europa League qualifiers and the playoffs to reach the group stage proper for the third successive season.
The Light Blues had tough opposition at Ibrox in the shape of Galatasaray, who boasted some top players including Colombian star Radamel Falcao.
After a tense, tight first half, goals from Scott Arfield and Tavernier – his seventh in seven games – were enough for victory, though Marcao’s late goal prompted a nervy finish.
Gerrard singled the 28-year-out for praise, telling Rangers TV, via BBC Sport: “When we turned up we knew that we probably had the best right-back in the league and that’s stayed the same. His consistency has been outrageous really.
“I know on the outside people make noise about James but the important thing is he’s loved on the inside and we appreciate what he does.
“If he was the perfect full-back he probably wouldn’t be here, but the good thing is he’s available all the time, he puts himself out there and his numbers for a full-back, no matter what league or level you play at, are outstanding.”
Tavernier’s time at Rangers hasn’t been without its criticisms from sections of the fanbase, but he has answered his critics in spectacular fashion.
It’s not the first time Gerrard has sung Tavernier’s praises, and it’s also not the first time he’s commented on criticism from outside.
“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves I don’t think from our own supporters or the credit he deserves from outside,” Gerrard told the Rangers website earlier this month.
Things are going well at present for Rangers and for Tavernier, and hopefully, come the end of the season, the criticism is finally put to bed once and for all with silverware.