Football - Ibrahim happy playing for Johnston

Kilmarnock winger Rabiu Ibrahim says Allan Johnston is the perfect boss to reignite his career and even claims he has started stealing the former Scotland winger's training-ground tricks.

PA Sport
Football - Ibrahim happy playing for Johnston
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Rabiu Ibrahim believes he is at the right place to rebuild his career

Former Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven and Celtic wideman Ibrahim moved to Rugby Park last January after his career stalled at Parkhead.

The Nigerian youth cap started just two games under former Killie boss Kenny Shiels but has begun the last four games for the Ayrshire side following Johnston's summer arrival.

The new manager has already spoken highly of Ibrahim and claimed he sees signs of himself in the talented playmaker.

But now the 22-year-old has revealed he been studying his boss' style online and on the training pitch in an effort to perfect his twists and turns.

He said: "I feel very happy and excited about what the manager said when he spoke about me like that. For me, it makes me feel more confident and I'm sure he can bring out the best in me.

"It makes me feel like I want to do more. I want to work hard for the team.

"I didn't know much about the boss before but since he has come in, I have watched a few clips of him on video and I loved him as a player.

"Sometimes he joins in training with us and you can see, wow, he can still play. He's quite young and can move. He has great skills.

"For me he is a magician. Someone just told me that his nickname was Magic. I said: 'Wow, really? I was right'."

"Every time I watch him, I steal something from him. It helps make me different. I'm happy to have him as a manager."

Ibrahim left PSV in December 2011 after finding first-team opportunities limited in Holland. His next stop was Scotland but despite signing a three-and-a-half year contract following a successful trial with Neil Lennon's team, he was released a year later having made just one start for the Hoops.

But he believes Kilmarnock can help him regain the type of form that once had him listed alongside Emmanuel Adebayor and John Obi Mikel as one of Africa's most promising youngsters.

"It's been a big adjustment coming from a big club like Celtic to Kilmarnock," he admitted. "But sometimes when things are not going well for you, you have to take one step back in order to go forward.

"That's what I did and now it's working for me."

While the Nigerian Under-23 international has found his feet in the Scottish Premiership, the same cannot be said of his team-mates.

Killie have won none of their four league games to date and the 2012 Scottish League Cup winners were knocked out of the competition at the first hurdle for the second year running after losing to Championship side Hamilton on Tuesday.

But Ibrahim is willing to redouble his efforts in order to help his team.

He said: "We can't figure out why this has happened. I don't know what the problem is. We are all sad. Nobody is happy. But we are strong. We can recover from this. Maybe we just need to work harder.

"I have to work harder myself. I have to muck in. I can't just keep going forward and not come back and help out.

"I know I'm not too good at mucking in right now but I'm working on that."

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