GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST has revealed that James Tavernier has been suffering with an injury for the past two weeks and played through the pain barrier against both Celtic and Ajax.

The Ibrox captain limped off at half-time during the Govan outfit’s Champions League opener against their Dutch opponents in Amsterdam.

Tavernier was then spotted with ice on his leg as he re-emerged from the changing room to watch the second half unfold.

It was a dominant display by Ajax and Tavernier was left for dead at the third goal as Mohammed Kudus rattled home a stunning finish after cutting in from the left flank.

Asked about his decision to substitute his skipper, van Bronckhorst revealed: “Tav had already got a knock a couple of weeks ago and he's struggling a little bit.

“Also with his fitness. It was good to change him because we could put Leon in as he was struggling a bit in the first half.”

Ajax added a fourth goal in the second period when Steven Bergwijn capitalised on a slack pass from Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack.

Rangers hero Ally McCoist slammed his former club’s performance, adding: "The dream turned into a nightmare.

"Anything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.

"Even second half. The offside goal, Kent not getting himself back onside, no excuses for that. The finish was sublime.

"Ryan Jack gave the ball away for the fourth goal. We said Saturday at Celtic Park was a bad day at the office.

"Tonight was equally as bad. Very very disappointing. Really concerning. Maybe even more so than Celtic.

"I will tell you why. I think a lot of Rangers supporters were looking for a reaction to Saturday. 

"They certainly didn't do that."