Joe Aribo promises ‘flying’ return for Rangers

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo has been frustrated in his efforts to produce his optimum form so far this season by a combination of injury and illness.

Rangers' Joe Aribo.
Rangers' Joe Aribo.

But while the Nigerian international admits he is still short of full match fitness and sharpness, he believes he will soon be making a turbo-charged contribution to the success of Steven Gerrard’s side.

Aribo was sidelined for 10 games earlier in the season after suffering an ankle injury in the 3-0 Premiership win over St Johnstone at Ibrox in August, before a stomach bug caused him to miss another two matches last month.

“On a personal note, I am just happy to be back fit, getting my sharpness and getting back to my best,” said the 24-year-old ahead of Rangers’ Betfred Cup quarter-final against St Mirren in Paisley on Wednesday.

“I still feel I have a bit to go but I am just happy with how the team is going. I will slowly get there and, when I do, I will be flying.”

Rangers will bid to extend their unbeaten 2020-21 campaign to 28 matches by overcoming St Mirren to claim a place in the last four of the League Cup, a competition which offers the first opportunity this season to end the club’s decade-long wait for major silverware.

“As a team together, it would be nice to lift a trophy,” said Aribo. “It will bring a real togetherness and will be something to celebrate. Even in the fact it puts down a marker and is a big statement, it is always nice to win silverware.

“Every single opponent is going to want to beat us and be the ones to end our unbeaten run this season but the longer it goes on, the more motivated we will be to keep it going and to keep this run going. Momentum is a big thing in football and we will just keep working hard and keep putting those extra shifts in.

“There is a real drive, especially in training. It is so high. Everybody knows there are places up for grabs and that somebody else is after their shirt. You have to be at your best to play and it keeps everybody motivated, driving and pushing. It is lovely to see.”