Gerrard: Why I started Aribo against Kabamba’s Kilmarnock


In the wake of their victory over Tommy Wright’s Killie, the Englishman explained his decision to hand the Nigerian a starter’s role

Steven Gerrard has revealed why he started Nigeria international Joe Aribo in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Kilmarnock in a Scottish Premiership showdown.

Unbeaten in their last 11 league games, the Gers silenced Tommy Wright’s men with Ryan Jack scoring the only goal in the 37th minute.

Alongside compatriot Leon Balogun, Aribo – who played his 22nd league game of the 2020-21 campaign was in action from start to finish at the Ibrox Stadium.

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While lauding his men for maintaining their 100% home record, he disclosed why he chose the former Charlton Athletic midfielder ahead of Finland international Glen Kamara.

“Glen Kamara obviously we never used today but he is another top one who can complement them,” Gerrard told the club website.

“It is a fantastic midfield three but at home we want to be a bit more aggressive, a bit more bold and that’s the reason why we decided to go with Aribo.

“It is certainly an improvement on last week, we had a few meetings early in the week to reset ourselves and I thought we were back today in terms of owning the pitch and our organisation out of possession.

“Allan [McGregor] had a relatively quiet afternoon but I’d like us to be a bit more clinical and ruthless going forward.

“I think we created the chances but I’ll never complain after a 1-0 win. It is another clean sheet and that is 14 wins out of 14 at home which is the standard and level we have been striving for so credit to the boys.”

Joe Aribo Steven Gerrard Rangers

The win saw the Gers maintain their lead at the summit of the Scottish top-flight log having accrued 79 points from 29 games – 21 points ahead of closest challengers Celtic.

Rangers travel to Belgium for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Royal Antwerp and the Liverpool legend claimed his men are in a sound state of mind for the clash.

“We are in a fantastic place and we want the players to try and enjoy this,” he continued.

“We realise it is a really critical and important time but we want them to pump their chests out and really enjoy this journey and the story they are creating so far.

“The squad’s getting healthier, Alfredo and Kamar are available on Thursday and then Alfredo is available next week too. Defoe has had a couple of sessions and we used Arfield today just to give him a taste of it.

“We are in a good place and we just need to take each challenge as it comes now but it’s very positive for us.”



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