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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Aidan Smith

Dessers given brutal Rangers verdict as star told Celtic clash was 'too big' for him

Former Rangers striker Gordon Dalziel has called out Cyriel Dessers for his performance against Celtic insisting the fixture was too big for him.

Dessers played 90 minutes as Philippe Clement suffered a first defeat as Ibrox boss at Parkhead and he failed to impact proceedings as he would have hoped.

The Nigerian international had a huge opportunity when he capitalised on an Alistair Johnston error but he took an age to get his shot away and ultimately he fluffed his chance.

"He went into the game wbig on confidence," Dalziel said on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard. "He has been scoring goals and getting praise from the fans, but this is the game to stand up and be counted.

"The game looked a bit big for him, but all credit to the Celtic centre-backs for keeping with him. But even when he got in positions you were never confident he was going to score."

Meanwhile, James Tavernier knows Rangers have to bounce back quickly from Old Firm frustration when they host Kilmarnock on Tuesday night.

The Gers skipper scored a terrific free-kick in the 88th minute to make it a nervy ending for the Scottish champions, who had been leading through goals from Paulo Bernardo and Kyogo Furuhashi before Rangers defender Leon Balogun was sent off at 2-0 for denying Celtic striker Daizen Maeda a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Tavernier looks forward to putting things right against Killie at Ibrox in the final game before the winter break.

He told RangersTV: “It is an important game and obviously we have to play really good football because Kilmarnock are in form.

“We have got to play the best we possibly can, the way the manager wants us to.

“It is important to get the three points to finish before the break and there are plenty of games after that.”

On the disappointing defeat by their Old Firm rivals which dented their title hopes, Tavernier reflected: “They were more clinical than us. Yes, we created some really good chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net.

“We have just got be a bit more clinical in front of that goal and it could have been a different score line, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“So obviously there’s positives to take and like I said a few weeks ago, there’s plenty of games to play. And we’ll continue working hard.

“We have an important game on Tuesday before the break and we’re going to make sure we get three points on the board.”

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