Whilst Rangers’ 1-1 draw on Wednesday evening will have been frustrating for Steven Gerrard after the hosts’ late equaliser, the 40-year-old manager will no doubt be delighted that he was able to welcome back captain James Tavernier after his lengthy injury.
The 29-year-old had been sidelined since February with a knee injury but made his return to the squad in Rangers’ 2-0 win against their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
Despite Nathan Patterson’s superb performances of late, Gerrard opted to drop the 19-year-old for the trip to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday, although the former Newcastle United man really struggled to repay his manager’s faith.
As per SofaScore, the right-back would earn a disappointing 6.4/10 rating for his performance against Callum Davidson’s side, with only Cedric Itten rated lower (6.3) of the Rangers players who featured in the game.
During his 62 minutes on the pitch, Tavernier would contribute just one tackle and one interception, whilst he was dribbled past on two occasions, which suggests that he wasn’t really up to speed.
For context, the defender has averaged 1.9 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game in the Premiership so far this season, which emphasises that he was below par on Wednesday evening.
Tavernier would also complete just 20/34 of his passes on the night, resulting in a less than impressive 59% success rate, which again is far below the 79.4% he has averaged so far this season.
The “unbelievable” Rangers captain has been so dangerous going forward this season, with 11 goals and nine assists in the top-flight alone, but he clearly wasn’t at his best against the Saints, as none of his four crosses were accurate, whilst he managed to lose possession on 21 occasions.
Although it was Jack Simpson who gave away the penalty late on, it was arguably Tavernier who struggled to perform the most against Davidson’s side, as he was clearly nowhere near his usual high standards.
Hopefully, it is just a matter of him regaining match fitness, otherwise, he may soon find himself behind Patterson in the pecking order at Ibrox.