Liverpool midfielder reveals how 'good experience' at Sunderland helped him flourish on European stage
Ovie Ejaria has opened up on a 'tough' loan spell at Sunderland - but revealed how the experience helped him progress mentally.
The Liverpool youngster, who is currently on loan at Rangers, has impressed north of the border and has been a shining light in the Gers' successful Europa League campaign.
Such displays were in stark contrast to the midfielder's time on Wearside, which saw him feature in just one win after signing late in the January transfer window.
And while Ejaria admits that playing in a struggling team was something of a culture shock, he felt that it helped him prepare mentally for the challenges of playing for Rangers on the European stage.
READ: Why Luke O'Nien is back to his best at Sunderland"You want to be winning games but when I look back at my Sunderland spell I think it was a good experience for me," he said, in an interview with the Scottish Sun.
“The team struggling was tough and it wasn’t something I was really used to.
“When I played at youth level for Liverpool I was used to winning. So going into Sunderland was all new to me.
“But I see it now as a good experience. It helped me to be stronger mentally and prepared me to come a big club like this.
MORE: Shrewsbury boss feels that Sunderland defeat was a 'kick in the teeth'“It is nice to be in a different environment here at Rangers, in terms of actually winning games.”
Rangers' last Europa League outing ended in a 3-1 win over Rapid Vienna, and they return to the competition this week as they welcome Spartak Moscow to Ibrox.
And the former Sunderland midfielder is relishing the chance to feature in the continental competition.
“I am really enjoying playing in Europe and I want to keep doing well for the team," added Ejaria.
“Every game we win adds to the confidence we have as a squad.
“The two wins we had before the international break were good for us and we want to try and carry that on now."