JAMES TAVERNIER admits a lack of consistency has been Rangers’ downfall this season as they head to Celtic Park aiming to salvage their title dreams.

Steven Gerrard’s side moved level on points with Celtic with an Old Firm win last December.

But the Light Blues have struggled in the second half of the season and are now ten adrift of their Premiership rivals ahead of the third derby of the campaign.

Tavernier said: “It’s about the level of consistency. We’ve shown signs of it after the Celtic game, but other times when it’s not been there. We need to maintain the high level of intensity as we showed against Celtic, pressing, moving on and off the ball.

“For some reason there have been games when it’s not been there. That’s cost us this season.

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“Even when Aberdeen took a point at Celtic, we drew that days as well so didn’t gain anything on them. That’s been the disappointing thing. The gaffer has highlights the games like drawing with Hibs three times.

“These are the games we need to put to bed and get the three points to be in a strong position and put up a challenge.

“I’ve seen loads of progress this season. There’s been a few highs and some lows. The European campaign was phenomenal for the club. We went to Celtic and didn’t play well in the first half but really came out of our shells in the second. We put in a really strong performance against them at home. But we need to replicate that when we go to their place.

“We want to win the game – that’s our aim. We always want to beat our rivals and to be in contention for any title race we need the points.”

Former Celtic star John Hartson claimed Rangers got carried away in the aftermath of that win before the winter break. Tavernier has refuted that suggestion, however, and is confident the Light Blues are heading in the right direction.

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He said: “I think it’s inaccurate to say we got carried away. With any footballer or fan, if you win you are going to be happy.

“It’s one of those things. Celtic were celebrating when they beat us at the start of the season. It’s the same with us.

“For a couple of the boys it was more a weight off the shoulders. Players like myself and Andy Halliday, the lads who’d been here a while, to get that win as it had been a long time. It was a weight off. It’s your rival.

“You can talk about the consistency before the game but a lot of it is about who wants it on the day. We are moving in the right direction. There’s been some speed bumps on the way but we have a strong enough team now and we’ll add again.”