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James Tavernier admits he 'can't watch Europa League final through again'

James Tavernier <i>(Image: SNS Images)</i>
James Tavernier (Image: SNS Images)

Rangers captain James Tavernier admits he has "never watched the Europa League final back again".

The Ibrox side came within a penalty shootout of lifting European silverware when they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

And over 18 months on, the Englishman insists it is still a painful memory.

Speaking to the Rangers Review, he said: "You know what, I’ve only watched the Leipzig game once through because that year and that tournament still hurts.

"I’ve never seen the final through again and don't think I ever will. Gio [Van Bronckhorst] had us in a man-for-man formation against these big teams, I think collectively as a team we really came together.

"We were playing against much better individuals but we gelled as a team and, after all, it’s teams who win games."

Tavernier was joint-top goalscorer during the European run in 2022 and he has found memories of the several nights during that season's competition, including against RB Leipzig in the semi-finals.

“Some of the nights were unbelievable," he continued. "The Leipzig win? It started when we lost 1-0 away the week before and we thought ‘We’ve got a really good chance here at Ibrox’.

"We had a real belief that facing any team at Ibrox, we were going to take them.

"We thought we’d win the game no matter what at Ibrox and I think that struck a certain fear factor in other teams.”

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The right-back also opened up on his special bond with Rangers legend John Greig as he closes in on the club's all-time scoring record.

He broke through the 100-goal barrier with the Govan side last season and with 16 goals clocked this campaign, Greig’s scoring record is now well and truly in sight.

Tavernier sits just three behind Greig's 120 total and as he closes in, he has revealed the close bond between the pair with both sharing a love for all things Rangers.

"He reliably informs me he’d score all the goals I do with a broken leg," he added.

"I got to see a lot more of Mr. Greig when I started at Rangers. He used to come into the back room at Dr Jackson's when the stadium was a bit different.

"I’d see him before and after games and I’d get a lot of grief no matter how I played.

“He is a true legend of the club. It’s only right we have a statue outside to mark his contribution.

"Overtaking him would be a huge achievement but I could never compare myself to him. I just try to be a sponge around him."