Jackie McNamara has suggested that Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is looking to protect captain James Tavernier by admitting he could take the defender off penalty duty following his recent misses from the spot.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland international says that the pressure the 28-year-old is coming under is only natural after hitting the post versus Motherwell – his third penalty miss of the season.
Gerrard confirmed after Sunday’s clash that he would consider taking his captain off of spot-kick duty, admitting his recent misses from 12 yards have put the defender in the firing line of fans.
McNamara says it is only natural that people outside the club are asking questions about his form and that Gerrard may look to lift some of the pressure by relieving him of his duties in the opposition box.
McNamara told Football Insider: “I think he’s been asked by the media and he’s answered the question, which, obviously he’s missed a couple, so he’ll look at that and he’ll want to protect him as well and take the pressure off him a little bit.
“It’s just part and parcel, if you score them people are happy and if you don’t, people are asking questions.
“It’s just how you come back from that, how you bounce back from that. There’s a lot of pressure on him as well being the captain.”
Tavernier has an exceptional record of goals and assists for Rangers, scoring 46 times and setting his teammates up for another 68 in his 217 appearances for the Light Blues.
He has already played 20 games across all competitions this season, with three strikes and a further nine assists to his name.