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Ryan Jack is relishing exciting new chapter with the Rangers

In a good place: Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack has said he is enjoying his football more than ever under manager Steven Gerrard
In a good place: Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack has said he is enjoying his football more than ever under manager Steven Gerrard
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon

By Andy Newport

Ryan Jack has had plenty of frustrating moments since moving to Ibrox - but the Rangers midfielder insists he has never been happier than he is under Steven Gerrard.

The former Aberdeen skipper joined the Gers 18 months ago but his first season in Glasgow had more lows than highs.

His self-control was questioned on the back of four red cards inside his first 19 games for the Light Blues.

There was further pain to follow when a serious knee injury prevented him playing any part as Graeme Murty's side limped through a nightmare second half to the campaign.

There have been knocks and niggles this term but he has shown new boss Gerrard enough in his 24 appearances since his return to have earned a new contract stretching to the summer of 2021.

And the Scotland international admits the only way he could be any more content with life is by adding to the 2014 League Cup winners medal he won with the Dons.

"The club showed a real desire to get me on an extended deal," he said. "I was delighted when they approached me to keep me longer than my current contract.

"My first season was frustrating. I had all the sending-offs at the start of the season then I got my bad knee injury during the second half.

"I sat out for a long period of time and it's tough to take. When playing games is taken away from you as a footballer you do go through some hard times.

"But thankfully I had the drive and determination to make sure that when I did get back fit I showed the manager what I can do.

"I'm now probably enjoying my football more than I ever had.

"I'm at a great club, we get 50,000 at every home game and have a great backing away. I've got a great coaching staff here and I'm working with a great group of players so there's no reason for me to change that."

Rangers surrendered top spot for the second time in a fortnight as they were held to a goalless draw by Hibernian on Wednesday night.

But Gerrard had no complaints with Jack's contribution as he hailed his "outstanding" Easter Road display.

It is not the first time the former Liverpool great has singled the 26-year-old out for special mention, even going as far as to admit he was "jealous" of Jack's August performance against Osijek.

With those pats on the back boosting the confidence of the entire squad, Jack is confident Gers' push for trophies will not falter.

"Those things are always great to hear," said Jack ahead of Sunday's trip to St Johnstone.

"There's no better way to get complemented than it coming from Steven Gerrard.

"He's been great with me since he came in, as have all the staff, and for me it's now just about keeping it going.

"The aim is to win trophies. When we sat down at the start of the season we said we wanted to win silverware together. We wanted to be recognised as a successful Rangers team.

"That hasn't changed. There are still two trophies to play for before the end of the season and I'm sure if we stay focused and together then we've got a good chance."

Rangers are hopeful that Scott Arfield could play some part in their final three fixtures before the end of the year.

The midfielder had to be replaced at half-time against Hibernian on Wednesday night after tweaking a hamstring but assistant manager Gary McAllister is confident he will feature at some as they prepare for tomorrow's trip to St Johnstone and the Ibrox clashes with Hibs and Celtic that follow.

However, defenders Connor Goldson (dead leg) and Gareth McAuley (thigh) are doubts for this weekend's Perth fixture with Saints while Ryan Kent (hamstring) remains on the casualty list alongside long-term absentees Graham Dorrans and Jamie Murphy (both knee).

Belfast Telegraph


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