Rangers captain James Tavernier has hit back at Chris Sutton, branding the former Celtic striker’s “serial loser” comments irrelevant.
TV pundit Sutton has taken aim at the Ibrox skipper and his failure to win any major trophy with the Light Blues since making his move to Glasgow in 2015.
Tavernier has now responded ahead of Sunday’s Betfred Cup final clash with the Hoops, saying: “Comments from pundits are irrelevant.
“I am here to do a job, I’m here to win trophies. Previously we’ve not done that but I fully believe in this squad and what we’re capable of doing.
“We have to win games, we have to win trophies. All the boys who have signed here have come to win trophies. We’re not here to be second best.
“We have to do everything in our hands and go out there on Sunday looking to bring back some silverware.”
While Tavernier has bounced back from a slump in form this season, the rest of the Gers defence have seen their levels drop in recent weeks having shipped five goals in their last four games.
That crisis of confidence contributed to Steven Gerrard’s team throwing away two points on Wednesday night as Aberdeen were allowed to fight back to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Tavernier knows his side cannot afford to make a repeat of those mistakes this weekend against Celtic but the right-back has urged his team-mates to follow his lead and rediscover their best displays.
“Sometimes it’s come down to mistakes, simple things,” he explained. “If you can cut those out, show a bit more concentration – and I include myself after the weeks I was getting criticised – you can bounce straight back and be really solid again.
“I’ve got full confidence in our back four, and as a team, that we can easily rectify those mistakes and get back to clean sheets.
“Sunday will be like when you play European games. The higher level you go up then the more you’ll be punished for mistakes.
“We know that we can’t afford to give up any mistakes. We know Celtic are going to have some chances so we have to defend really well on the day.”
Tavernier was involved in an ugly incident during Wednesday’s Pittodrie clash when he was hit with a bread roll thrown by a Dons supporter.
Aberdeen are investigating the matter but the Rangers captain – who was confronted by a pitch invader at Easter Road last season – says it is time fan misbehaviour is stamped out.
He said: “I spoke to our security team after the game and they made us aware of what was thrown.
“It’s something that is in their hands but obviously we shouldn’t have to keep going through these things with fan actions. We have to address it.”