STEVEN GERRARD believes James Tavernier can go from strength to strength after being handed the Rangers armband this summer.

The right-back filled in as skipper in the closing weeks of last season as the Light Blues finished third in the Premiership.

Gerrard spent the first weeks of his Ibrox tenure assessing his options over who to make captain for his first campaign as boss.

Tavernier has now been given the responsibility on a permanent basis and will lead the side out tonight as the Gers face FK Shkupi in the Europa League first qualifying round.

Gerrard said: “When you select a captain, you look at all kinds of different aspects. The first one is obviously the player, is he capable of finding the consistency to handle playing well every week for Rangers?

“I think he is certainly one who has come out with credit in terms of the tough few years here.

“Every time I have watched him, he has been Rangers’ stand-out performer, and watching him in the last few weeks, he ticks every box.

“He’s very well-liked and respected within the dressing room. He wants to be the captain, he wants that pressure.

“He obviously did a decent job at the back-end of last year too.

“He made it very clear to me in my opening chat with him that he wanted to stay at Rangers, his feelings and his love for the club, and how much he was craving winning some trophies here.

“That’s exactly what I’m feeling, so we’ll work together and try to build on that relationship and that partnership.

“I think it was important that the captain had been around and been through the highs and the lows, I didn’t want to select someone who was pretty new.”