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James Tavernier in Rangers fitness admission after Michael Beale exit



James Tavernier has become the latest Rangers player to comment on increased fitness and clarity under Philippe Clement as he targets a victory over Aris Limassol to set up a big month.

Rangers have 11 games to play before the winter break including an Old Firm derby, a Viaplay Cup Final and a trip to Spain to play Betis in the Europa League and Tavernier knows the whole squad is going to be needed. But he’s confident his side can get off to a good start on the final day of November by beating Aris Limassol at home despite being shocked by the Cypriot outfit in the return leg in October.

Steven Davis was in charge for that game after Michael Beale had been sacked and it didn’t go well with Abdallah Sima’s late goal not enough to get Rangers back into the match after going 2-0 down. Tavernier admits it was a frustrating night but he insists things are very different now and there’s much more clarity from the manager and everyone is feeling fitter.

It’s a claim that has been made by numerous players since the Belgian replaced Beale in the Ibrox hotseat and has led to fan questions over what the former QPR boss had been doing at the club.

And Tavernier said: “We know how disappointing a performance it was we put in in Cyprus. But a lot has changed since then. The gaffer has came in. We are really listening to the gaffer and taking his ideas onto the pitch. Whatever plan he puts forward for us on Thursday we will be doing that. First of all, we are looking at a clean sheet.

“There’s a lot of clarity in the team and everyone knows their role and what they are doing. Everyone is getting fitter and stronger. We are all trying to push each other and we have got a real momentum going. It’s a massive month and a half and we know how big Thursday night is. We have got to take full advantage of playing at Ibrox and try and get the three points.

“I am looking at all the lads at training and they are all pushing hard. Whoever is asked to play will put in a good performance in. I thought the subs on Sunday were good. Rabbi Matondo came on and was a real threat so we will continue to push each other.”

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