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Raith Rovers 0-1 Rangers, Player ratings: Tavernier's problem isn't defending, it's attacking

Rangers weren't very good against Rovers, and the player ratings are a bit of a mixed bag. Martyn Waghorn's form is a worry, while there are major misconceptions about James Tavernier.

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Wes Foderingham 7

Another fairly solid performance from Foderingham, who has improved and been more reliable when called upon in recent weeks. Still question marks over his handling, although those weren't evident on this showing.

James Tavernier 7

Tavernier, like most attacking full-backs, is tarred with the misconception of being a poor defender. On the whole, though, he's dealt with his wingers quite well - the accusation seems to be levelled due to times when he's caught up the pitch. This is, to be frank, how football and basic physics - the fact that someone cannot be in two places at once - work. If you want Tavernier to never be caught up the pitch, then it's simple - don't allow him to go forwards. Nobody wants that. To attack, you have to commit men forwards, and that leaves you more vulnerable at the back yourselves. It's very basic stuff. His real problem is that he's actually very erratic on the ball, and when out of form often gives it away cheaply in dangerous positions, as he did one or two times here. His problem is going forwards, not defending. On the whole though, he was a constant source of creativity for the team when the rest of the play was too safe. His lovely skip and pass after his free-kick struck the wall ought to have seen Martyn Waghorn score, and he created the winning goal in the end.

Rob Kiernan 7

Another good performance from a player who could well mature into a very good centre-back if he can maintain his consistency.

Danny Wilson 6

Has improved over the past two games, although really needs to get into gear if he wants to be starting for us next seaason.

Lee Wallace 5

Wallace's energy and movement have never dipped this season, but his final ball has been dreadful for quite a few games now. The lack of any real competition here is a concern.

Dominic Ball 6

Despite looking jiggered after the last game, Ball started again and gave another decent performance. Ball, Halliday and Holt might be our strongest midfield, and is probably worth a shot at some point soon.

Andy Halliday 7

A constant driving presence in a role that suits him better. Halliday is not one of the best players on the team in terms of ability, but his mentality is excellent - his constant showing for the ball, and ability to take risks while also knowing when the team needs it, and understanding the rhythm of the game as it develops, are excellent. A real leader on the pitch and we actually scored from a cut-back to boot.

Gedion Zelalem 6

Some improvement from the youngster, and a fine flick which ought to have seen Waghorn score, but his passing was still too slow and safe and was a major source of the frustrating build-up play. We're not about to turn into one of the auld lads of Ibrox here, but we really could do with moving the ball forwards a lot quicker at times, and Zelalem seems completely incapable of it. His creativity further forwards is weirdly much better, but he doesn't look like scoring in a month of Sundays, so it seems a waste to start him in that role either.

Martyn Waghorn 4

Now we have backup in the form of Michael O'Halloran and Billy King, with Kenny Miller continuing his reasonable form, it's maybe time to sit Waghorn out for a game or two. He's been pretty awful for a couple of games, with not only lacklustre finishing but also a real inability to influence the game in a positive manner. He'll surely be back to his best soon but at the moment he's offering nothing.

Kenny Miller 6

His odd inconsistency in attack is very strange - his decision-making is frequently excellent, but he's still a regular source of attacks breaking down, on one occasion sending a clear chance out to the wing for a hit-and-hope cross because he wouldn't use his left foot. He's still an important player for the team but should probably be used more sparingly now we have more options to choose from.

Barrie McKay 6

A frustrating evening for the winger, who couldn't get the better of his fullback all evening due to Rovers' deep defence and his physical shortcomings. McKay simply doesn't have the upper-body strength to motor past fullbacks with his pace, and it's preventing him from being a constantly effective presence on the left wing. His passing, as ever, was extraordinary, both long and short - something really lacking in our midfield as a whole. It's time to try moving him into the middle.


Dean Shiels 5

A rotten display when starting in midfield previously, and while he's better off the bench when space has opened up for him, his eariler fine form appears to have come to an abrupt halt.

Harry Forrester 5

He may still need to get up to match fitness, but time is running out for the winger and he offered nothing again here. A long-term deal looks unlikely.

Michael O'Halloran 6

Showed brief glimpses of what he can bring to the team with his pace and strength, although his crossing could have been slightly better. Might be worth a start on Saturday.