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Aribo looking to add ‘nasty’ edge

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo is aiming to get “nasty” after turning his apprehension to elation on his return trip to Livingston.

Aribo left the Tony Macaroni Arena with his first Ladbrokes Premiership goal and a prize for man of the match six weeks after departing the same stadium with 20 stitches in a head wound.

Manager Steven Gerrard urged the former Charlton midfielder to play like a “beast” and he grabbed the first goal in a 2-0 away win.

Joe Aribo, right, celebrates his goal against Livingston

Joe Aribo, right, celebrates his goal against Livingston (Steve Welsh/PA)

Aribo missed several games after suffering a bloody wound during an aerial challenge with Ricki Lamie in a Betfred Cup tie in September and vowed to add some steel to his game.

“I thought it was a bit crazy, the blood dripping, but it wasn’t too much for me to handle,” the 23-year-old said.

“I was a bit fuming that not much was given for the incident but you just have to learn from it. It happened.

“It is very physical in Scottish football and I have been learning that. So I just hope I am able to match what I am going to get from the opposition and be nasty to play against.

“It’s something I am learning myself that I have to improve on because some may say that I am a bit nice but I just want to be as nasty a player as I can be as well as a technical player.”

Aribo smashed home in the 32nd minute to set Rangers on their way to a comfortable win and stay one goal behind leaders Celtic.

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“It was an amazing feeling getting my first goal in the Scottish league, I am ecstatic,” the Nigeria international said.

“I was just happy to get through the 90 minutes with what happened the last time.

“I wasn’t thinking too heavily on it but it’s always in the back of your mind and I just wanted to put my stamp on the game.

“The manager said he wanted me to be a beast. I would say it means just make your opponent dread playing against you because you are going to be in your face.

“That’s what I wanted to go out there and do and I am just happy I was able to put in a good performance and the team were able to get a good result.”