Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton has backed James Tavernier after the defender was criticised over his defensive frailties last season.

The Gers captain received plenty of stick last term as his defending was poor in a handful of games. This prompted some pundits questioning his captaincy suitability and supporters second-guessing manager Steven Gerrard's decision to keep him in the team at right-back.

Warburton, the man who signed the ex-Wigan defender, has never doubted Tavernier's qualities, though. And while he accepts that, defensively, the player could still improve, he reckons his attacking prowess and talents from set-pieces have proven that attack is the best form of defence.

Tavernier's goals to games ratio, for a defender, is also incredible at Rangers and his early form for the club may have put some added pressure on his shoulders to maintain it throughout his Ibrox career. "You look at a guy who his committed to his club, he's an outstanding character on and off the field, the way he conducts himself," Warburton told H&T Sport.

"I know what Glasgow Rangers means to James Tavernier. I can't speak highly enough of him. Maybe because he's set such high standards, when you're human and have a dip in form, people get on your back because your standards have been so high. His attacking ability, his crossing skills. People say, 'He can't defend', but the best form of defence is attack. He delivers great crosses, scores goals, and he's been a fantastic servant for the club.

"I know what it means to him and his family to be at Glasgow Rangers."