'I'm getting close' - Rangers ace aims to surpass Ibrox hero's scoring record and makes free-kick confession

Rangers captain James Tavernier has set his sights on Kris Boyd's scoring recordRangers captain James Tavernier has set his sights on Kris Boyd's scoring record
Rangers captain James Tavernier has set his sights on Kris Boyd's scoring record
The Ibrox captain has set his sights on Kris Boyd's goals tally - but has some way to go to emulate Ronald Koeman's record

James Tavernier is backing himself to surpass former Rangers talisman Kris Boyd's goal scoring tally - but admits he's got no chance of chasing down Ronald Koeman’s sensational record for a defender.

The Gers skipper is currently Britain's joint highest-scoring defender after moving level with ex-Scotland defender Graham Alexander on 130 goals - with 122 of those coming since he joined the Glasgow giants in 2015. His goal-scoring record for a right-back makes for impressive reading and while he's a long way off reaching former Holland and Barcelona great Koeman's outstanding total of 253 strikes, Tavernier is confident of toppling retired striker Boyd's haul of 138 efforts for the Light Blues over five years.

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"Yeah I think it would be nice to topple Boydy," the Englishman told Sky Sports. "I heard someone say I’m getting close to that. That’s the one I’ll be looking down on to see if I can overtake that.

"I don’t think I’m catching (Ronald) Koeman (253 goals across his career). I saw the amount of games he did it in. That’s a big amount of goals to catch up. But my goal record is definitely creeping up. I’ve seen some tables for the world’s leading defenders, top goalscorers.

"It’s an unbelievable achievement for me personally. It’s something I’ll probably only really appreciate once I do hang up my boots. But I know that’s going to be a long way down the line."

Tavernier scored his first goal for Rangers from a free-kick on his debut for then boss Mark Warburton Championship side during a Challenge Cup victory over Hibs. But he explained it wasn't the original plan to take over set pieces.

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He admitted: "I wasn’t meant to be on free-kicks. I think it was supposed to be Nicky Law on them the day before but I thought I’d just jump myself in and take a few at training. On the game day it came up and when you fancy yourself and back yourself, you put yourself forward. I did and it managed to go in.

"When I was a kid, I was in my back garden a lot by myself. There was a washing pole at the top of the garden. I used to copy David Beckham as much as I could trying to hit that pole. It’s something I’ve always practiced, free-kicks. Penalties is something that’s come a little bit later. I always back myself."

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