Rangers star Joe Aribo has revealed the Steven Gerrard pep talk which helped him battle back from the first serious injury of his career.
The 24-year-old struggled to rediscover his best form in the Ibrox engine room after almost two months out with an ankle knock just two games into the campaign.
His rush to rejoin the Gers’ virtually flawless start to the season did little to help him fully recover from the issue, with Aribio admitting he “got ahead of himself” in his comeback bid.
The former Charlton midfielder is now thriving once again after following up his Europa League strike against Royal Antwerp with a sensational effort in the 4-0 thrashing of Dundee United.
And he told how a word in his ear from gaffer Gerrard, who shared his own personal experience with injury from his playing career, helped him stay the course in returning to full fitness.
“I knew I had to bide my time in the end but I wanted to get back playing and get back to my best straight away,” he recalled.
“It’s more of a journey, though. It’s not just a case of getting to the finishing line straight away.
“I remember when I first got injured I spoke to the gaffer and he said to me that he’s been there himself and understood.
“He just said ‘don’t worry about it,’ and that helped as it was playing on my mind a lot. So even that, being told to take my time, helped me.”