Steven Whittaker insists Rangers captain James Tavernier "needs to look at” the defensive side of his game.

The Englishman has scored six goals and provided two assists so far this season but has received criticism recently for his performances at the other end of the pitch.

And while the 39-year-old acknowledges the right-back’s contribution going forward, he admits keeping clean sheets is just as important when playing at Ibrox.

He said: “It’s difficult. He is producing big moments in big games. On the flip side of that it’s the opposite side of the game he gets criticised for.

“But that’s the type of player he is. He very much wants to impact the game going forward and his numbers show that.”

The former Scotland international also stressed the importance of having a balance as a defender and why any good attacking work can be undone if the team is not defensively sound.

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Tavernier received criticism for his recent performance in the 2-1 defeat against Aris Limassol and Whittaker detailed how vital it is to strike a balance when playing as a defender at the top level.

“That’s Rangers style, you have to be an attacking player,” he continued. “As a full-back I was that myself.

“He is doing that but, yeah, Rangers want to keep clean sheets at the other end as well so that’s something he has to look at.”

Two of Whittaker’s old teams clash when the Scottish Premiership returns after the international break when Hibernian travel to Glasgow for Philippe Clement’s debut game in charge.

The fixture will also be the first time Nick Montgomery has faced Rangers, as he looks to continue his positive start to life in charge of the Edinburgh club.

Hibs remain unbeaten since he took over last month, having won two and drawn three of their last five games.

And Whittaker feels it will be a great occasion given both teams will be going through the process of a new manager bounce.

“That’s obviously what every manager wants when they take over a club, that initial feel-good factor, boys buying into your first couple of meetings and what you’re doing on the pitch,” he added.

“If that can show straight away [for Rangers] then that’s a positive. Nick Montgomery has done that for Hibs and hopefully they can continue that momentum.”