JON Flanagan admits he wanted to repay Steven Gerrard for showing the faith to recall him to the Rangers starting XI.

The 26-year-old has started the Gers last three games, all wins, after not playing since January and explained he thinks his form is down to hard work in the gym while he was waiting for his chance on the sidelines.

A former teammate of Gerrard at Liverpool, Flanagan, has brought a tough tackling approach to the left-back berth in recent weeks, making him a favourite amongst the Light Blues’ support.

Speaking to the media he said: “It great to be back, the manager has put me back in and I have just loved every minute of it really.

“I just wanted to repay him with my performances and we have had three straight wins so I just need to try and keep that going.

“It was tough being out but that is football, you are not going to play every game, you are going to have dips, everyone knows that. When you are called upon you have to be ready.

“Everyone has dips in form and I know myself that when he took me out the team my performances weren’t up to my standards.

“I am the first to know when my performances aren’t right and it is the manager’s decision to take me out the team. You just have to work hard and wait for your opportunity to get back in.

“I give it one hundred percent every time I play and hopefully the performances are there and Rangers get the wins.

“Tackling is part of my game, I am full-blooded, I try and give one hundred percent and I always go and try and win the ball.

“It is more about timing, I have been in the gym getting a bit sharper and I think you could say I was a bit sharper now in my game. It is about timing and positional play when it comes to disciplinary.

“It is a massive club there is always going to be competition, I have been at a massive club before this and the competition is high. I know what is expected and I am prepared for it.”

Flanagan could start in a defence against Aberdeen this weekend which has conceded just one goal in their last three games.

The full-back has featured in three of the Gers six games already against the Dons this season and with his side yet to beat Derek McInnes team in Glasgow he says there is a determination amongst the squad.

He continued:

“There is a feeling in the changing room, amongst everyone, that we owe them one. I think we need to go and be prepared right for this game and make a statement.

“I think every team up here raises their game against Rangers, we are a massive club and it is like a cup final to them.

“I think Aberdeen do that and a lot of other teams do that as well. It is a compliment to the football club and to the players who are playing. We have just got to be prepared and hopefully go and try and get the win.

“At many big clubs a lot of teams raise their game, more so than playing a lesser team so I have experienced that before and it is always going to happen up here so you have just got to be ready for it.

“It is a massive club and everyone who plays here should know that and be prepared for that.”

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