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Joe Aribo makes Rangers ‘step up’ call as champions aim to defend Premiership crown

JOE ARIBO has called on Rangers’ key men to step up to the plate this term as he seeks to raise his game during the Premiership title run-in.

Rangers have the chance to put the pressure on Celtic ahead of their trip to Livingston tomorrow when Aberdeen make the trip to Ibrox this afternoon.

Aribo was a stand-out performer during the first half of the campaign but admits his levels have dropped off since returning from the African Cup of Nations.

Aribo said: “For me personally, I wanted to get more numbers in terms of goals and assists. I’ve not been at my best compared to how I was before I left for the internationals.

“In football, you have these dips in form in your season but hopefully I can move past that and, come [kick-off], see a strong performance and move forward from that.

“I just need to work my hardest to get back into form and that’s what I’m doing. Every single day I want to be my best when I’m on the pitch so that’s what I’m hoping to do.”

Rangers edged out St Johnstone in midweek and returned to winning ways on the back of their shock collapse at home to Motherwell last weekend.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side are on the back foot in the top flight but Aribo is determined to fight until the end in a bid to retain their league crown.

“Definitely,” Aribo said when asked if he was happy with 1-0 wins. “Of course the attackers here want to get numbers on the board, but the most important thing is the three points.

“If it’s 1-0, if it’s 2-1, as long as we’re getting the three points, that’s the main thing.

“It’s nice to have [a title race] because it is a moment for the big players to step up. That’s what we need. We need big characters in the dressing room.

“In the next games coming up, we hope that we’ll be there and we’ll get three points. That’s what we want from every single match that we play in.”

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