Jon Flanagan believes title success with Rangers would go some way to soothing his most-painful football memory.
The full-back played 23 times for Liverpool when they came so close to winning the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14.
A slip by his now-manager, Steven Gerrard, against Chelsea effectively ended the Reds’ title challenge with just two games to go.
Flanagan still winces when he thinks of that time.
It was something of a bittersweet period for the defender, because he was delighted to be playing regularly for his boyhood idols.
He said: “I played a lot of games in the season where we almost won the league.
“To lose out that year was a big disappointment for myself and everyone connected to the club.
“Personally, it was a high to go on a run and play for the team I grew up supporting.
“But to come so close and for it to end like it did – we lost out by just two points – was difficult.
“That’s football. It’s not nice to lose out like that.
“You have to try to store it, push on and go again.
“If we could win the league at Rangers, it would certainly salve that a bit and move it on.
“That’s the aim here, it’s what everyone wants. To go and do that, you could definitely say that.
“At Liverpool that year, we just had a great team spirit.
“Every week we were fighting for each other and I think we’ve got that in this group at Rangers.
“We’ve got a lot of talent and we’re all together. There’s a good feeling about it.
“We’ve added to the squad and we’ve got more strength in depth.
“Going into a lot of games, we’ll be stronger this season.
“I definitely think we’ll be better prepared this season to play in the league, and Europe, with the squad we’ve got.”
Flanagan made his first competitive appearance of the season on Thursday night when he lined up at against Midtjylland in Denmark.
He’s keen to cement his position at left-back with a successful afternoon against Hibs today.
A knock sustained in pre-season meant he’d previously been unavailable for selection.
Last term he played regularly at the start and end of the campaign.
He admits his time out of the side had nothing to do with injury.
He said: “I just had a dip in form, I didn’t have the best run of games.
“I am the first to know when I am not playing well.
“The gaffer picked the right time to take me out and I had to work hard to get back in.
“When I did that, we went on a run.
“My aim is to stay in the team this season and perform at a consistent level.
“I can’t take anything for granted.
“I want to play in this side because, hopefully, it’s going to be a successful season.
“Personally, I want to play every minute of every game.
“So I’ll do everything I can to stay in the team.”
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