STEVEN GERRARD reckons Joe Aribo is in “the right place” after the midfielder won his first Nigeria cap and scored his first international goal in midweek.
Aribo netted in the 2-2 friendly draw with Ukraine on Tuesday to cap a superb few months for the skilful playmaker, and Gerrard was delighted with his achievement.
The manager explained: “I spoke with him there, and he is in a fantastic place, smiling away. Its congratulations to him getting his first goal in his first game.
“He was rewarded for his form as a Rangers player with that being his first call-up. It shows he is at the right place and he is playing football at the right level – European football, playing in Old Firms – at last he is being recognised as an international player and now he is being rewarded with his first game and he had got his first goal.
“They must have started watching since he has been at Rangers – playing in Europa League games and playing in front of 51,000 here.
“The people who select for the Nigerian team know now he can play in big football games. I don’t know many players in the Championship who are playing for Nigeria.”
Gers host Livingston tomorrow afternoon, with the manager keen for his side to put the defeat in their last outing behind them as quickly as possible.
He added: “We all want to get back to winning ways. From a mental point of view, we all want to bounce back, though some are at different stages.
“Some have been away and played two international matches, some have travelled a lot, some have stayed behind to work very hard and are very fresh and ready to go.
“I think all of us understand the setback and where we were 10 days ago. That’s the reason why I am really looking forward to kick-off on Saturday at 3pm.
“In football, you get a chance to bounce back from disappointment, and that is what we want to do.”