Joe Aribo: I had to put in extra training to make a difference

Rangers Boss Steven Gerrard was full of praise for Joe Aribo after he put in another strong performance against Dundee United in the Sottish topflight.

Super Eagles star, Joe Aribo, is excited to see the result of an extra training exercise in the Rangers’ victory over Dundee United.

The Nigerian international produced a spectacular seventh goal of his campaign to assist the Rangers ’ push closer to the title with a convincing victory over Dundee United.

Aribo’s brilliant third goal for Steven Gerrard’s side just moments into the second-half removed any faint hopes of a Tangerines fightback as the hosts kept charging towards a first flag in a decade.

The 24-year-old savoured the moment which also ensured him a Man of the Match Award and confessed it was a change of approach when his big moment arrived that brought about the thunderous left-foot strike into the top corner.

Normally associated with finishes of guile and panache, Aribo opted for brute force when the opportunity arose to take aim at United No.1 Benjamin Siegrist just after the restart.

Gerrard called him a “boss kid” for his attitude and application after the game and the scorer smiled: “I probably haven’t hit a shot with as much power.

“Everyone says in training that I like to finesse it, curl it, but I’ve been practicing just putting my laces through it and, thankfully, it went in.

“The boys are buzzing. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game and we had to start fast and get a foothold in the game and keep going throughout the 90 minutes.

“I just want to finish the season strongly, keep pushing and going, and giving all that I can and I’m happy that I’m getting positive results.”

Debutant Jack Simpson had mixed emotions after finally making his Rangers debut.

The Ibrox new boy got the last quarter of the win over Dundee United after replacing Filip Helander for a first appearance since signing in last month’s transfer window from Bournemouth.

Simpson was delighted to savour some action, but reckons the gloss was taken off the moment by the loss of Marc McNulty’s goal to the visitors which ripped away Rangers’ clean sheet.

The 24-year-old said: “I’m delighted to have my debut and the most important thing was the three points.

“From the back four and goalkeeper’s point of view, we’re disappointed to have conceded a sloppy goal towards the end because clean sheets mean a lot to us with the standards we set. So I’m pleased but also disappointed.

“The standard is very high here. You can see from coming into training just what is expected of you. It’s not even just on the pitch, it’s the training ground and the gym. Everyone is expected to do everything they can to be ready for match days and it’s very impressive.

“The boys have been good with me and made me feel very welcome. I’m starting to get to know them all a bit more now and settling in nicer. Feeling more comfortable about the group.

“I feel the more I learn how the team plays and the more game-time, the better and I can add something.

“I want to be aggressive defensively on and off the ball. I definitely feel I can add something just in the way we play. It suits me.”

Simpson is now hoping to feature against Royal Antwerp on Thursday having made the trip to Belgium for the first leg last midweek.

Speaking on RTV, he added: “It was exciting. Everyone wants to play European football when they are a kid. It ended up being a crazy game and positive to get four away goals. We’re looking forward to the game and hoping to go through.”

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