Rangers star Aribo gives credit to family support during injury nightmare

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The Super Eagles midfielder spent close to eight weeks on the sidelines earlier this season after suffering an ankle sprain

Joe Aribo has given credit to his family for their support during his injury struggle ahead of Rangers’ Uefa Europa League outing against Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

Back in August, the London-born Nigeria star damaged his ankle against St. Johnstone which ruled him out for two months, and he returned to action in the Old Firm derby with the Gers securing a 2-0 win over Celtic on October 17.

Aribo has been in fine goalscoring form recently which has seen him score in his last two matches for Steven Gerrard’s team.

He scored the opening goal in Rangers’ 4-3 win over Royal Antwerp in the first-leg of their Europa League fixture last Thursday and he followed it up with a beauty in their 4-1 league triumph over Dundee United on Sunday.

Ahead of Antwerp’s trip to Ibrox Stadium on Thursday, Aribo – who has scored seven goals in all competitions this season – recalled his experience on the sidelines and the atmosphere in Rangers camp.

“The occasion is great, we get a buzz playing in Europe,” Aribo told media. “It was my first long-term injury and I thought I could come back and get up to speed straight away but it is more of a journey to get to that finish line.

“I spoke to my family a lot during my injury who helped to push me through that difficult time.

“I now know what to expect with any future injuries, the manager also helped as he spoke to me through his experiences with injuries and the patience required.

“The boys are in high spirits but we take it a game at a time and we are purely focused on the next match.”

Rangers hold a slim advantage over their Belgian visitors and Gerrard has promised an improved display in a more aggressive way.

He said: “The scoreline sits how it is in terms of the advantage we have but we certainly won’t be going in with that mentality – we see this as a fresh game.

“We want to improve on our performance from a defensive point of view and be a lot tighter and alot more difficult to play against.

“We still want to carry a threat and we want to try and score as many goals as we can. We are at home, we are not going to sit and wait, we are going to treat this game in isolation.

“We’ll be really aggressive and bold in how we play because this is our home and we want to show everyone how difficult it is to play against this team when they come to Ibrox.”

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