JAMES Tavernier has two reasons for not wanting to leave Rangers any time soon. Trust and trophies.

Or to be more accurate, because a lot of the first has come his way it means he’s reluctant to say any farewells just yet, and a lack of the latter means there is unfinished business for the club captain at Ibrox.

We'll start with reason No1.

Tavernier’s career was going nowhere fast, he admits as much himself, until four years ago when he signed for Rangers, at that time in the Championship. The fee of around £100,000 goes down as one of the better financial outputs made by a football club that has made a few bad ones in recent years.

The Englishman has a lot to thank Rangers for and often does. Fortunately for him, there is a perfect way to repay what this player has been given in Glasgow.

It’s silver, with blue and white ribbons and, so far, frustratingly out of reach.

“It’s been four years now and the lack of silverware has been disappointing,” admits Tavernier. whose only major final was the defeat to Hibernian in the Scottish Cup in in 2016.

“The reason I came to Rangers was to win trophies. The squad has improved from last season, I’m more than excited to play in this campaign, and hopefully we can bring silverware home this season.

“Being captain, winning a trophy would be the next step for me. I really wanted that as a player, even more now as a captain. It’s been a long time coming – hopefully we can now do that.”

For Rangers to win anything, they need to keep Tavernier. His 17 goals and many more assist from last season were crucial.

His defending, often criticised in the past, has vastly improved and while naturally one of the quieter members of the dressing room, has grown into the role of captain.

Newcastle United, his first professional club, have been linked with a move for the right-back with a fee of £8m-£10m being spoken about, which seems about right.

“It’s a compliment,” admitted Tavernier. “I see it (the speculation) but all my emphasis is on Rangers. Things can happen in football, of course, but I’m looking forward to this season. It’s all speculation. If it stays like that then I don’t get upset about it. I’m fully focussed on the job here.

“I have always believed in my quality, even when I was younger. With the clubs I was at, Newcastle and Wigan, it didn’t work out for me. Rangers gave me a chance. The club have shown faith in me.

"I have been trying to repay that favour ever since which means working harder, getting better and better.

“I love my football here, my family is settled, I’m in a great place at the moment. Whatever happens, happens. I’m just focussing on Rangers.”

That’s that sorted, and now onto Thursday night and a first-leg tie with Progres Niederkorn, them again, of Luxembourg fame.

Tavernier is a survivor of the night of arguably Rangers’ worst ever result and certainly the most embarrassing when two years ago ‘some mob from Luxembourg’ beat them 2-0 and knocked out the men from Ibrox. This week and next is a chance for some sort of redemption.

Tavernier said: “Ryan Jack and I were just talking about this the other day, it was Jacko’s first game for Rangers, and there are obviously some bad memories there.

"The squad is completely different, the gaffer is in now, and I’m sure we can find something, we’re not going to undermine them, we’ll take them very seriously and see if we can get the job done.

“Looking back two years now, we didn’t take our chances at home in the first leg. I felt we then that our play should have brought more goals. We go over there, a goal goes in and the lads went under a little but, and then we concede again.

“We shot ourselves in the foot at Ibrox. And then did the same a week later!

“It was a bad night. That was my first time in Europe with Rangers and to get knocked-out was awful, as was to see the reaction of Pedro (Caxinha) back then and the supporters as well. That’s when the defeat sunk in.

“There were a lot of mixed emotions right after the match. Rangers shouldn’t be knocked out of a European cup competition by Progres, with all due respect to them, our fans want better than that, so did the players, and we need to put that in the past. I fully believe this team can do the job.

“Look, we had a good European campaign next season and we want it to do the same. I have the experience from last season. Obviously, the home tie is about taking your chances and being able shut up shop which we did last season – against Maribor for example.”

A lot has happened in the last two years and while there is still no trophy, Steven Gerrard has brought stability, a potentially strong squad and one or two good times.

“The gaffer and Mark (Allen) have obviously taken the club forward massively," said Tavernier.

"The training ground has been refurbished, that’s happened at Ibrox as well, the surrounding have improved which has made everything better for us as players. We have come a long way.

“The players which have come in have brought up the levels even higher. All the coaching staff are doing a tremendous job, the boys enjoy working with them, and the demands are even higher. We are all fighting for a shirt, we all have to perform on the training ground every day.”

Rangers supporters have heard all of this before. Their players talking up the chances of a cup has become an annual event. Will this time be different?