IT takes broad shoulders to be captain of Rangers. Especially if your name is James Tavernier and some supporters are taking to social media and radio phone-ins to hold you personally responsible for two mistakes which have just turned what could have been a famous away Europa League win into a morale-sapping defeat.

But Steven Gerrard admitted last night that his captain has already shouldered the responsibility for the errors and is convinced he has what it takes to ride out this current storm. Not only that, he expects him to prove it against Hamilton tomorrow.

Okay, so Tavernier over-played in a bad area when he might have been better advised to bang the ball out of play for the first goal. He was then a metre or so out-of-position and wrong-footed when the killer second arrived. But Gerrard is correct to stress the amount of assists and goals Tavernier and his attacking instincts have generated for his team. Let’s just say the more excitable fans out there who say it is only the captain’s armband which is keeping him from losing his place to Jon Flanagan are unlikely to see him dropped any time soon.


READ MORE: Rangers closing in on Ross Wilson as director of football

“We can’t just always be praising James and talking about the good side,” said Gerrard. “He is human - he will make mistakes at times. It is very few and far between when he lets us down. It is what it is and obviously the mistakes have had an influence on the outcome of the game. But part of being a leader is moving on from mistakes. It’s part of taking accountability for performances.

“James is someone who will put himself before the team,” the Englishman added. “He will put himself up there to be shot down, he takes responsibility. James isn’t someone who would shy away from that in the dressing room, so there are no problems.

“In certain situations, with certain players, you think it may have an affect moving forward. But with James, it wouldn’t surprise me if he plays well, bounces back and provides a game-changing moment for the team. There have been many times when he’s bailed us out.

“We are all aware the modern game is very social media driven. When we win, we all get a lot of praise on it. I’m sure James has experienced that as well. When it doesn’t go well, you expect a backlash. I get it, the players get it, people at different clubs get it. You have to accept we are in a world where it won’t go away. I’m not sure players look into it, that much. I certainly don’t. I don’t go looking for the praise when we beat Aberdeen 5-0, I just roll with whatever it is.”

Outwith the agency of the club’s captain, there were a number of other reasons why Rangers didn’t come away with the three points which few people could have argued with on the strength of their overall play. One was the save by Young Boys goalkeeper Von Ballmoos which denied a deflected Alfredo Morelos strike, another was the fact Uefa don’t have Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in Europa League group stage matches, and consequently Frederik Sorensen escaped punishment for what looked like a clear trip in the penalty box on Alfredo Morelos. However it went down, rather than having one foot in the last 32, the Ibrox side find their four team group is delicately poised with all four sides on three points.

READ MORE: Rangers' Borna Barisic: There is more to come, despite being named top Euro star

Brian Rice’s Hamilton side, who arrive on league business tomorrow, will offer a different kind of challenge. With as many as six players nursing knocks from midweek, it is not one which Gerrard is inclined to treat lightly.

“We want to bounce back from the other night and build on the real strong, positive performance against Aberdeen,” he said. “It’ the last fixture before the international break and we want to take maximum points. If we can do it in style, great.

“This league will take twists and turns as go along,” he added. “From the Old Firm setback, it was important we showed a reaction and went on a run to recover from that defeat. Last weekend was a turning point in our favour but we need to make sure we are focused on the job.

“Every fixture after travelling in Europe can be a test. Brian will bring his team here very organised. They have had all week to plan and they will be fresh. Rangers is always a scalp and they will be looking to derail us and take points. But our best gets the job done and we need to find that level.

“I am sure the players will be at it and we will get a reaction from Bern. I will be forced into changes due to injuries. We had about six players with knocks or tightness after the Young Boys game. That could impact on team selection but in the main, I want to go as strong as I can.”