JAMES TAVERNIER saw the speculation and heard the rumours as he was linked with a return to England once again during the January transfer window.

But the Ibrox skipper insists his only focus is on delivering the silverware he has worked towards since he made the move to Glasgow four years ago.

Tavernier has been touted for switches to a host of clubs in recent seasons as sides in the Premier League and Championship cast their eyes over the in-form right-back.

The Englishman has been an integral player for the Gers once again this term and had no intention of leaving as he looks to lead Steven Gerrard’s side to success in the coming months.

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Tavernier said: “It’s always flattering to get linked with a Premier League club. I am just trying to keep my head down and work hard.

“Whenever there is a transfer window you’ve always got to be prepared. But I have committed my future here and looking to keep working for the team.

“I had a conversation with the gaffer and he wants me here. That’s all you want to hear as a player in any team.

“If the gaffer wants you and you feel welcome you will work as hard as possible to repay that faith. I’m here and want to work as hard as I can for the gaffer.

READ MORE: "The Rangers game against Aberdeen is must-win - we can't afford to drop any more points"

“Only maybe at times when players are struggling [do they want to go back to England]. When they come up here and find it tougher than what they thought.

“It’s a competitive league and for me that certainly isn’t the case. I love life up here and my family love life up here so I’m really comfortable.”

Tavernier was part of the Gers side that lifted the Championship title and Petrofac Training Cup during his first season in Glasgow after moving from Wigan Athletic.

Now the Light Blues have their best chance of clinching the Premiership crown as they prepare for a potentially history-making second half of the campaign.

Victory over Aberdeen this evening would be a huge confidence boost for Rangers and set them up perfectly for their Scottish Cup clash with Kilmarnock this weekend.

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Tavernier said: “Yeah, that was always my ambition when I first came here and the club were in the Championship.

“We accomplished promotion but as a player, not even as captain, my ambition was to pick trophies up here and it still is.

“We are in a position where we go into tomorrow night and if we get three points we are still in the race then face Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.

“We are in for two cups and that’s the ambition for all the lads - to win trophies.

“This week is big. The first part of the season is done and we know the second part is now going to be crucial.

“We can’t afford to drop any more points because we’ve got to expect Celtic to win games.

“If Celtic win games and we drop points we will move further away from them, so it’s a must win game against Aberdeen.

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“We can’t get a draw, we don’t want that. We want to win and we have Kilmarnock after a defeat against them we felt was disappointing because we gifted two goals.

“So we know this week has to be two wins to reach the next round and keep ourselves in a good position for the title.”

Rangers will make the trip to Pittodrie knowing that victory is vital if they are to keep up the pace at the top of the Premiership following crucial wins over Livingston and St Mirren.

The Dons snatched a draw on the opening day of the campaign before winning in the Betfred Cup semi-finals and clinching all three points at Ibrox.

Rangers had Alfredo Morelos sent off in the two Premiership encounters and Tavernier knows it is a time for cool heads in a heated rivalry.

He said: “We’ve done that (had players sent off) quite a bit this season already. It does cost us when we have ten men because all the lads have to work harder.

“The gaffer has spoken to the boys and has been consistent in the fact we’ve got to go there with a clear head and not get caught in any of the madness.

“We’ve got to come off the pitch with eleven men. It’s going to be key for all the lads not to get involved in reckless challenges or heated debates.

“I think [the intensity of the Aberdeen game] does [take people my surprise]. Outside Scotland you think about Rangers and Celtic, but as soon as you’re in and around it you soon realise that Rangers fans and Aberdeen fans don’t mix well.

“Our fans always want to beat Aberdeen and vice versa. It’s almost another derby underneath the Old Firm, so it’s a must win game.”

That win against St Mirren proved to be a controversial affair as referee Andrew Dallas awarded Rangers four penalties at Ibrox.

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Tavernier scored twice either side of an effort that hit the post and then gave up his chance of a hat-trick to allow Jermain Defoe to score. Boss Gerrard understood the gesture, but has warned against a repeat.

Tavernier said: “Looking back at it... it’s maybe something I will regret further down the line.

“But it was one of those decisions where Jermain came to me and asked if he could score his first home goal.

“So it was a decision I made and felt comfortable with to let him get on the scoresheet and claim his first home goal.

“We have had it made clear now that from now on I am not allowed to do that.

“Em, it’s been made clear, yes. I am the designated penalty taker and if I’m not on the pitch Alfredo is second in line. As long as I am on the pitch I will be taking all the penalties.”

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