Rangers skipper James Tavernier has been speaking ahead of Sunday's League Cup semi-final with Hearts.

Here is everything he had to say.

Where's the balance between excitement and pressure when you get to this stage?

We've just got to treat it like every game we prepare for, the best we can to go into this game. We're coming off some good momentum and we just need to keep doing the right things and hopefully, we can get ourselves into a final.

Is it easy to treat it as any other game with the expectation for silverware?

There's always expectation. We've got to treat the games, game by game. Obviously, there's lots of expectation but we've prepared really well for this game and we're coming off the back of some good results so we're in a good place. We know it's going to be a tough test, they proved a test for us at Ibrox but we overcame it and we know our performances are only going to get better.

You haven't won the League Cup, what does that do to your motivation?

Every competition and every game gives us motivation to win. If it's a game on the training pitch or it's a game, I've got a motivation to win. It's a cup I've never had my hands on and it's something the boys will try and do their best but we've got to get past Hearts first.

It was a bit of a disrupted night on Wednesday but is the performance something you'll look to take into a big game like this?

Yeah, I don't think it disrupted our performance one bit. Obviously, we were late coming to the game but we were still focused on the two buses that we traveled on and in the dressing room the gaffer made it clear what he wanted. We went back in but we were still focused when we went back out and I thought it was a good away performance.

There are some new faces in the dressing room, do you need to reiterate the importance of Sunday's game?

They're footballers. They come into football wanting to win things. You don't come into football wanting to lose every game. Everybody wants to win in that dressing room. I can put my input in but I know everybody who's came here wants silverware. That's our aim for the season to try and get silverware and the boys in the changing room know what to do.

What would it do to the league campaign if you were to reach the final?

Obviously, it would be good. It's the first trophy you can get your hands on so it's something you can get in early. What the gaffer wants to do is concentrate week by week, month by month and take every game as it comes. We can't think too much of the final or winning this trophy because we've got to play Hearts so we've got to get past that obstacle first and then we'll move on from there.

How much do you take from the recent win against Hearts and the manner of it?

It showed real resilience in the team and mentality to never give up and go to the last whistle and that's what the manager wanted us to do. It showed really good character from the lads so it stands us in good stead for the games that come in the future.

What are the main changes the manager has made?

He's got his own ideas. Every manager has their own ideas and the gaffer has come in and brought his own stamp to the game and he's getting the best out of the players. We've really tuned into what he wants and that's what everyone wants so far.

Is there any in particular that he's changed?

Just his ideas. Obviously, I can't go into too much as a lot of it is tactical stuff but he's just put his own imprint on it and raised the standards and demands. He wants the team to be fitter and we train really hard so he's put his stamp on it and we've responded really well.

Has the training changed?

The demands in training such as the higher distances in training has probably changed. Especially after recovery days, the distances are higher so small changes.

Does the squad need to get fitter after what the manager has said?

He's highlighted the lads who are coming back from injury. It's a bit hard for them if they're getting chucked back into a game and the levels are not at the levels of the lads who are playing week in, week out. He's made it clear that, for everyone in the team, as a squad, he wants everyone at the same fitness levels so when asked for, everyone can be there, give 100 percent and be fit for the team. That's the main thing he's brought to the table.

Do the fitness levels need to improve to play the type of football the manager wants?

Yeah, I think you've seen rotation in the squad already. Leon [Balogun] came back into the squad, I think Ross [McCausland] has done really well, a young lad coming into the team. Scotty [Wright] has come in, Jacko's come in so it's a team game and we need everybody. The gaffer will have his own tactics for different games and what he wants from different people and we've all got to be ready for when asked for.

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Did you think twice about hitting the second penalty against Hearts after missing the first?

No, there's never a second thought. I'll always take things on my shoulders. Things don't really affect me. I was probably more settled to take the second one than the first one. That's just me and I'll never shy down from things.

Why were you more settled for the second one?

I don't know, I just felt more comfortable with the second one. I can't explain it.

What would it mean to end a 12-year wait and win the League Cup?

It's a wait we have to get rid of as soon as possible. With respect, we've got to play Hearts first, we've got to get past that hurdle and then we can speak about the final and the chance to win a trophy. Hearts are going to be a tough team to play against and we've got to be at our best to get ourselves into the final.

Is it strange to play a team so soon after playing them?

Obviously, we've had a game during the week. You get a little bit more of an idea what you think they're going to be doing but if we're at our best and we're doing what the gaffer is telling us to do then we'll put ourselves in a good position to create chances and shut up shop at the back. Hopefully, we can keep a clean sheet this time and that's what we'll be aiming to do.