It seemed something of an odd juxtaposition between subject and situation, sitting down with James Tavernier as the Rangers captain addressed the deluge of criticism he has faced recently when he was speaking to the press due to his nomination for the PFA Scotland player of the year award. On the back of a 24-goal season (so far). But there we were.

Tavernier has been around these parts long enough though to know full well what is being said about him. That long Ibrox tenure has also helped him to deal with the extremes he faces as captain of Rangers, where collective failure is always going to colour fan opinion more than individual achievement.

What has also helped him deal with that criticism is the fact that he has been well used to being held to such exacting standards long before he ever pulled on a Rangers jersey, with his mum’s tough love approach to parenting pushing him still now to be the best version of himself that he can be.

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So, it’s not that he is ignoring his critics, it’s just that he holds himself to just as high a standard as anyone else possibly could. Well, all except his mum, perhaps.

“I’m never happy,” Tavernier said. “I’m always critical of myself. I remember when I was young, my mum was always critical of me, and I’ve inherited that. I’ve always been critical of myself and looked to try and improve each season.

“This is a landmark season for myself with 24 goals which beats my previous record. But next season I want to get more, and I want to get more assists. I just want to improve myself on a personal level and continue to get better and better.

“I’m never happy to be still and being happy with where I am. I always want to better myself all the time. But there is no-one who can say anything about me that’s more critical of how I criticise myself.

“I obviously listen to the people closest to me, but I know my levels and I know where I need to be. I also know where I need to improve and will strive towards that. I just want to improve the team.

“I think it’s just the upbringing that I’ve had, I had a strong upbringing. A single mum, coming from a rough council estate in Leeds, it always brings that fire in you and gives you more independence and makes you level-headed about what you need to be.

“I’m not saying that’s not in other ways of being brought up, but it’s made me really strong mentally from when I was young, and that has carried me right through to being an adult, working on that and just bettering myself.

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“I always want to show what I’m capable of, and sometimes that might not please everyone. You can be the DJ in the changing room and you can’t please everyone with one song, so you just try to do your best, and that is what I always try to do for myself. I try to lead by example, and try to play my best and be the best version of myself on the pitch and off the pitch.”

There are footballers who will resist the temptation to ‘doom scroll’ through the constant critical drip feed online, but not Tavernier.

“I’ve got social media, and I can read social media,” he said.

There is a difference though between seeing what is being said about him on social media, and lending any credence to it. And he is happy to be the lightning rod that attracts such commentary if it means his teammates are sheltered somewhat from the sort of wrath that accompanied the recent results against Ross County and Dundee.

“I think in modern day football there are a lot of opinions,” he said. "Compared to how it was, if you look back in the day, before social media, there are a lot more opinions out there now. Having that responsibility as the club captain, you have to have big shoulders and accept whatever is going to come your way.

“For me, I have always been strong-minded with a strong character, and I feel I can take everything on. It won’t affect me because I know where I need to be at. I can take the criticism on and keep pushing myself because I’ll never shy away from anything. I will always try and make myself better.

"If I can take all the criticism for the team I’m fine with that so the other lads can fully focused on the job. Everyone deals with it in their own way but, as I say, I’ve always been strong-minded and I can accept it.”

Another member of the Rangers squad who is big enough and – no offence intended – ugly enough to shoulder the criticism he has faced of late is Connor Goldson, with the centre-back dropping to the bench for the last two games after a dip in his own form.

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Tavernier though, typically, was stout in his defence of the man who he has played alongside for the majority of his Ibrox career, and says that their own defensive efforts have rather been overlooked this term.

“When you look at Connor, he’s been so consistent for us,” he said. “He’s been robust, he’s always been fit for the team. He’s one of the hardest trainers.

“You’re always going to get the harshest criticism when you’ve been at Rangers for so long, but he’s been an absolutely great servant and a great teammate.

“We’ve had such a great defensive record this season and that can’t be overshadowed. Yeah, some results might go against you, but for the whole package of what Connor’s done for the team, he’s been outstanding for us and I couldn’t ask for a better centre-back to play beside.”