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Derek McInnes | Rangers Preview

December 1, 2016 6:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

RedTV | You can watch the manager's pre-match press conference in full – please click here

“It is our job to get on with the next game.

“There is no getting away from the fact the cup final was a disappointment. We wanted to show people that we are better than what we did do on Sunday. We are all clear on that. We all agree that we are a better side than what we showed.

“We were huge underdogs going into the game, no one expected us to win apart from ourselves, and that is why we are disappointed.

“We put ourselves into the position to win a cup and we did not take it.

“The players have not been feeling too good about themselves. It is important that we get round them and support them because there is still so much to play for. It was not an end of season defeat. There is still two thirds of the season to go and the Scottish Cup to look forward to. We have had one cup final appearance and we aim to have more.

“Being at a club like Aberdeen the next big game is just around the corner.

“There is no bigger game for us than Rangers at Ibrox. There is no better game for us. It gives us the opportunity to try and go and get three points at a difficult venue. And to try and get that winning feeling again. That is why we are all here, to win games of football. It was maybe tough at the start of the week but it is important we all get on with our jobs. There is plenty to look forward to.

“We have reminded the players it is important that there is enthusiasm after the disappointment.

“The rivalry is well documented. The supporters see this as a fantastic opportunity to go there and win. We back ourselves. We are a good side. We did not show that on Sunday but we have only lost to two teams this season and the game at Hamilton was more down to a doggy penalty decision than anything else. So, there has been a lot right about the team and there is going to be a lot more right about us going forward.

“A win at Ibrox would be fantastic. If we can then win our games in hand we go into second spot in the league.

“Even if we had won on Sunday there would be a lot of eyes on Aberdeen. The response from the players has always been good when we have had a defeat. It is important to show that enthusiasm after a disappointment as I say.

“It is important that we focus on December. Almost a quarter of our league games are being cramped into December. It is going to need complete focus. We are going to have to concentrate on the job in hand.

“I thought we were fortunate to win the first game against Rangers. I thought we were clinical and I thought we carried a threat but Rangers had it too much their own way that day. We managed to find a way to win.

“Rangers have had a few games where they have won very late on. That is a sign of a good team. It is going to be a tough game. I still think Rangers- by what they can do in January- makes them favourites to finish the season in second spot. But we still feel that second spot is something we can aim for. If we win our games in hand then we would go second. I think any time you beat the teams around about you in the league it helps you because you are inflicting damage on them. So both teams will see Saturday as an opportunity to bounce back.

“There will be a lot of good players on show. Hopefully my players can show what they can do and win the game.

“The players will expect a tough game. Going into an intimidating atmosphere is part of growing up and getting used to what we need to deal with. I still want us to be brave and play our game as well.

“In any game, you look to go and impose yourself on the opposition, home or away. We are up against a team who handle the ball well. At times, they can be very good on the eye and we appreciate their strengths. We want to try and concentrate on ourselves and our strengths.

“I think we are only a point worse off than we were last season and heading into December, a month where in the past few seasons we have done well.

“Team news is everyone is fit and good to go.”

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Rangers 2 Aberdeen 1 : Live

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Rangers 2 Aberdeen 1

December 3, 2016 8:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which played at Hampden last week. Mark Reynolds and Jayden Stockley came in for O’Connor and Rooney.

Aberdeen started with real intent and won a couple of early free-kicks. In the second minute Maddison curled a free kick just wide from about 25 yards – keeper Foderingham had it cover. In the third minute Hayes had a good opening after referee McLean waved away appeals for a free kick. The Rangers players stopped expecting to get the foul, this allowed the ball to be played through to Jonny but his shot was weak. McLean then tried his luck from distance but again it was a comfortable save for the Rangers keeper. Rangers first attack a minute later saw Kenny Miller cross the ball into the area but Lewis confidently came and claimed the cross despite being put under pressure. 7 minutes in and a shot from Garner had to be turned around the post by Lewis at the expense of the games first corner. The shot might have been going wide but Joe could not take any chances.

The home side then enjoyed a good spell of possession but the Dons defence comfortably dealt with anything that came their way.

Quarter of an hour in great play by Maddison set up a chance. Although he was fouled the referee played advantage. James played it wide to Shinnie and his cross was flicked on by Stockley. For a second it looked like the ball was creeping in but Foderingham produced a fine stop and Hill managed to get to the ball just again of Logan to clear the danger.  

The pace of Aberdeen on the break was causing problems and Lee Hodson on 20 minutes was booked for a foul on Shinnie. Then Kiernan was booked for a high lunge on Shinnie.

On 23 minutes a golden opportunity was wasted by Rangers. A fine passing move set Wallace clear and the Rangers skipper had enough pace to get himself one on one with Lewis. The left back though pulled his shot wide. The chance lifted the home fans and the Dons had to withstand another spell of pressure. On the half hour mark Aberdeen had worked the ball into a promising position but Shinnie’s cross went behind everyone. Rangers then broke and had numbers forward. Thankfully for the Dons Barrie McKay went himself and curled a shot well over.

37 minutes in, another Dons promising break resulted in a Jack shot being deflected just wide. This led to an Aberdeen corner which was cleared. The Dons though did appear to have a height advantage from set pieces. Unfortunately on 41 minutes a free kick from Maddison did not make use of the advantage as it was too strong and claimed by the keeper.

HT

Aberdeen started the second period very positively. Shinnie put over a great cross but no one there. The ball came back over from Hayes and after Stockley had miscued Shinnie was brought down in the area but nothing was given.

A minute later Hayes ghosted past the left back. He stood the ball up perfectly for Stockley but his header went agonisingly wide with Foderingham rooted to the spot. A key moment in the game and the striker will feel he should have scored. Aberdeen had started the second period strongly and won a free kick on 50 minutes, Maddison though fired the ball into the wall and Hayes fired the rebound well over.

Then on 51 minutes Rangers took the lead. Aberdeen switched off and allowed a free-kick to be taken quickly. A hopeful Garner cross into the box somehow found its way to Kenny Miller and the former Scotland striker fired past Lewis. The ball in seemed to take a deflection which took it away from Taylor. Out of absolutely nothing the Dons were behind and the atmosphere inside the ground was suddenly very different.

On 55 minutes Maddison beat a couple of players on the edge of the area but unfortunately his shot did not match the quality of the run.  On 58 minutes a Hayes cross almost reached Stockley but was knocked behind for a corner from which Rangers broke quickly from and Jack was penalised for give away a free kick and received a yellow card.

Aberdeen had two or three chances to put over good crosses but failed. Then Maddison received the ball in a great area after Rangers had gifted possession with a misplaced square pass. Although James worked room for the shot he never got any power in it.

On 67 minutes Jayden Stockley was replaced by Adam Rooney.

On 70 minutes Aberdeen found themselves two behind. On the right the ball was worked by Waghorn and McKay to Lee Hodson with a simple triangular move again. Hodson has a lot of time to pick his shot and riffled a powerful shot into the roof of net. Just before that Rangers had won a questionable throw-in but the Dons will feel they should have defended the situation a lot better.

With fifteen minutes to go Peter Pawlett, making his 200th appearance, came on for Kenny McLean and Niall McGinn replaced Graeme Shinnie. On 78 minutes Hill was booked for taking out Maddison which stopped a promising attack. On 82 minutes Considine was booked for a strong challenge as things started to become a bit heated.

After 85 minutes a McGinn cross was missed by Rooney and then Hayes coming in behind, had space and time, but knocked the ball out of play. It about summed up the afternoon. In the final minute Harry Forrester should have added a third after Logan slipped but Lewis diving the other way produced a brilliant stop.

The game then boiled over in injury time. It started when Clint Hill received a second yellow and then a red card for another foul on Maddison. Shortly after that Wallace and Pawlett were yellow carded for a flair up on the far touch line. As the referee was still dealing with the aftermath of that, inside the area another flair up resulted in a yellow card for Waghorn and a second yellow for Ryan Jack after the two had squared up to each other.  

Aberdeen finally out together a decent set-piece when Considine headed home a Maddison free kick. The Dons looked to have set up a dramatic finish but referee McLean frustratingly blew his whistle despite not adding on time for the previous altercations or the goal.

Plenty of fight from the Dons but they will be disappointed to have given away two soft goals.

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