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Match Preview | Rangers v Aberdeen

October 26, 2021 3:42 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Match Preview | Rangers v Aberdeen

 

Competition: cinch Scottish Premiership
Match: Rangers v Aberdeen
Venue: Ibrox Stadium
Kick Off: 19:45
TV Coverage: RedTV International & Rangers PPV. Audio commentary is available to RedTV UK Subscribers.

The manager spoke to the media via Zoom, on Tuesday lunchtime, to preview Wednesday’s game at Ibrox. To watch in full on RedTV, please click here.

Stephen Glass began his press conference by paying tribute to Walter Smith following today’s sad news:

“It is terribly sad news. An absolute giant of the game in Scotland has passed away. We get the opportunity to pay our respects to him tomorrow night. We will pay our respects to a great man.

“As a young kid growing up in Dundee I watched his teams and saw the influence that he had on a very good Dundee Utd team. Then I watched him have a big influence on Rangers and then obviously I watched his Scotland teams and I also played against his teams.

“I was fortunate enough to meet him a couple of years ago in Atlanta when he was visiting his brother. He was a great man who was only too willing to impart his advice and talk about football which was his passion.

“It is a sad, sad occasion. He leaves a lot of people behind but a lot of people are very proud of what he did and he meant a lot to Rangers and we will feel that tomorrow night.

“He came across as a very humble man. He wanted the best for his club and country. He had a class and a dignity about him and that is why so many people from multiple clubs are showing love for him. The respect from this club in particular, when Sir Alex Ferguson takes him to Manchester United and the Scotland national team as assistant, I think that tells you everything you need to know about him.

Team News

“Calvin, Declan and Jack are all unavailable for the game. It is really unfortunate as the two young full backs have been brilliant for us all season. Declan has come back and has looked good as well, it is disappointing. It does give other people opportunities though. Like at the weekend it gives us a problem that we have to fix, at least this time we have a couple of days of planning which helps.

“We are looking forward to it and the players who are given opportunities will look forward to it as well.

“The injured players are looking at being out for a few weeks. We have not had the full prognosis yet. It will be beyond the international break at a minimum until they are back.

Team Spirit

“I have been banging on that the spirit has been here and that is why the performance was there on Saturday. You saw a team that scored the first goal that had something to hang onto. We showed a real desire to hang onto it as well. It always feels better when you win, of course it does, and it also vindicates the work you are doing a little bit more as well. In terms of positivity around the place, that has never been lacking.

“The fans saw something at the weekend that they could get behind and that is always going to be the case with the supporters here. If you give them something to get behind, then they will get behind it. That is the onus that is on us as staff and as players. To me that is never in doubt. The noise the fans made was brilliant. There was a little lull when Hibs came back into things at the start of the second half but I think the fans themselves felt it and they sparked up again. They gave the players a little bit extra energy which is needed when you get seven extra minutes of added time. It was very helpful to get us over the line, hopefully we will see them all on Saturday again along with a few more.

“I have a lot of belief in the players. There was a lot of in game management required from ourselves, changing things quick, changing personnel, changing formations and the players also showing understanding of it too. Every time we changed there was an injury which gave us a chance to speak to the players which helped.

“It is never easy changing things tactically from a plan you had set out in the first place. I am delighted with the players that got over the line, it was a deserved victory.

Joe Lewis

“Joe is fine. He has a bit of a black eye, he has a couple of stitches in his nose but he is good.

“I was delighted with Joe’s response at the weekend. I never doubted his mentality for a minute. At the time, when I left him out of the group, I was very clear that it was nothing more and he needed to come out for his own benefit. It was up to myself and the staff to decided how long that was for. The way that he was training, it was time to put him back in, put the responsibility back on him and put the trust back in him. He 100% repaid that at the weekend and he gets the opportunity to do that again.

Defensive Options

“Tomorrow night there will be a very good back four that won’t be available. The two young full backs, Andy Considine and Declan are not playing and Mikey Devlin is out as well. We are bare bones at the back but we have shown a willingness and an ability to overcome that. We will deal with any obstacles that come our way. We didn’t look for excuses when we were not getting victories, we will not look for any when we are going to Ibrox with a depleted group, we would all acknowledge that but it is a challenge we are all looking forward to.

“It is an opportunity for us to do well, if we don’t, I think I know what we will get accused of anyway. There are no free hits at this club.

“If we have to bring in young players into the defence then it is difficult because you are bringing players right into the coalface. It is a difficult position to come into. If you are rolling along at the top of the league and everything is smooth, it is a little bit easier to bring defenders into your team. We have got different ways of coping, young players are an option, moving people slightly out of position, that might have played there before or that can adapt is another option. Everything that we do will be for the benefit of the young individuals if we do it and also for the club. It will be easy to chuck a couple of young boys in at centre half, take a heavy beating at Rangers and say ‘We played young kids.’ That is not fair to the young players.

“Scott playing centre back at the weekend was a quick fix. It was something that we have to decide on for this week. We have other players who can play centre half, we have the option to play a back four. We still have a decent amount of options. For me it is not a case of focusing on what we don’t have, it is focusing on what we do have. Scott comes into the category, he can help us in midfield as a pair or as a single and he can play in the back as well. It makes it a little bit more difficult for other teams to predict our line up.”

Classic Match

18/05/2017: Rangers 1-2: Ibrox.

The Dons secured a first win at Ibrox in 25 years with a superb performance to win 2-1 and to also confirm second place in the league table. Aberdeen took an early inside 10 minutes thanks to a Graeme Shinnie strike and we doubled our lead just after the break when Ryan Christie headed past Wes Foderingham. The home side did a pull goal back on the hour mark through Martyn Waghorn but despite Jayden Stockley being sent off late on we held on for a famous three points.

Dons Line Up: Lewis, Logan, McLean, O’Connor, Reynolds, Taylor, Considine, Shinnie, Rooney (Stockley), McGinn, Christie.

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Report | Dons make a point at Ibrox

October 27, 2021 9:54 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Report | Dons make a point at Ibrox

 

RANGERS 2 ABERDEEN 2
SPFL Premiership
Ibrox
Wednesday October 27th 2021
Attendance: 49,760
Referee: John Beaton

A performance full of guts and determination – and no little quality – from the Dons more than earned a point at Ibrox, with only two marginal decisions denying them the three points they fully deserved.

Following the 1-0 win over Hibernian at the weekend, Stephen Glass made three changes to the Aberdeen side, Jonny Hayes, Dylan McGeouch and Dean Campbell all starting. Declan Gallagher and Calvin Ramsay were absent with injury, while Marley Watkins began the night on the bench, where Jack Gurr rejoined the matchday 18. The injury hit Dons had Scott Brown at centre-half in a back three, Campbell and Funso Ojo the wing-backs.

League leaders Rangers were 2-1 winners at St. Mirren on Sunday and they made two changes to that side. Calvin Bassey and Glen Kamara replaced Steven Davis, who dropped to the bench, and Borna Barisic in the starting XI.

Rangers started quickly but the Dons then enjoyed some nice possession to settle into the game. It was worthwhile possession too, for Aberdeen were in front on eight minutes. With Rangers trying to play too many passes inside their own box, Hayes closed down quickly and won possession. He found Campbell on the edge of the area, and he slid a lovely pass to Ryan Hedges. He turned and manufactured a clever lobbed ball into the six yard box, where Christian Ramirez was waiting to nod into the empty net.

Rangers responded immediately, Goldson heading down from a corner, the ball finding Morelos, Joe Lewis doing well to push the ball away at the near post. The blue tide kept coming, Bassey crossing into Roofe on 12 minutes, his shot deflected wide by Brown.

Good combination play by Hayes and Hedges down the right on the quarter hour won the visitors a corner. McGeouch drilled in the flag kick, whereupon Brown got away from Tavernier and hurled himself full length at the ball to bullet a diving header back across goal and into the bottom corner. The captain appeared to enjoy celebrating in front of the fans at Ibrox.

It wasn’t far from three on 18 minutes, Rangers giving the ball away again, Campbell feeding Lewis Ferguson, but he didn’t get enough on his shot from 20 yards and McLaughlin saved easily. The home crowd were not amused.

A fine tackle by Ferguson was penalised on 20 minutes and Rangers had a goal back as a result. Tavernier lofted the ball in from the right hand side and up went Morelos, unchallenged at the back post, to head in. Poor defending perhaps – but a poor decision also, for the free-kick should never have been awarded.

Bassey was on the run down their left on 22, Ojo hauling him down and getting booked for his trouble. Hagi’s free-kick found Goldson at the back post and his ferocious drive was well blocked to safety.

Kamara hauled Hayes down when he was chasing into good space on 31 minutes but no yellow card followed. Rangers were enjoying the territorial advantage but whenever Aberdeen looked to break, the home side looked very vulnerable. The manager had got his tactics spot on.

Lundstram was next to try his luck for Rangers, pouncing on a loose ball from a corner, Hedges throwing himself at the shot and blocking the ball behind. There was the same fierce determination from the Dons that we’d seen last Saturday.

None were more determined than Lewis, who produced a magnificent save to his left on 43 minutes after Goldson got free at a corner and pounded in a goalbound header.

HALF-TIME: RANGERS 1 ABERDEEN 2

No changes from either side at the break, and no change in Aberdeen’s resolution as the home side tried to start the half quickly but to no real effect in the opening stages. What Aberdeen were struggling to find was an outlet in those opening 15 minutes as Rangers kept coming forward.

The home side replaced Lundstram with Arfield on 61 minutes, then Ramirez limped off for the Dons to make way for Watkins a minute later.

Lovely possession from Aberdeen ate up a minute or more in the Rangers half before Aribo lost his patience and clobbered Hedges 25 yards out, the referee giving a free-kick to the Dons, on the right of the D. It came to nothing, Ferguson’s shot buried into the wall.

It was all hands to the pump defending from Aberdeen now as Rangers desperately tried to carve out a clear chance. A foul on Roofe gave Rangers a free-kick on the left, Lewis up well to punch clear. The home side had plenty of the ball but still the Dons were holding firm, playing with real hunger and no little bravery. Wright and Sakala joined the fray on 77 minutes as Rangers went for it, Roofe and Aribo replaced as the rain teemed down.

Ten minutes from time, Sakala took a tumble in a tangle with Bates when seemingly offside, and won a penalty. Tavernier buried the ball into the side netting and the sides were level, desperately harsh on the Dons.

Rangers had the momentum now and a Wright cross was headed behind by Bates who went down injured – the referee refused him treatment and booked Lewis in the aftermath. The home side forced corer after corner thereafter but Aberdeen continued to battle for every ball and kept Rangers at bay.

Into the final minute and Hayes bought a free-kick down the left, Goldson obligingly shoving him to the ground. Campbell’s near post ball was headed wide by Watkins as five minutes of added time were signalled despite neither physio having been on the pitch in the second half.

In the third of them, Morelos was booked for simulation.

Hayes was hacked down a moment later, requiring treatment, Hedges onto the loose ball and firing well wide. Austin Samuels came on to replace Hayes as the game ebbed to its conclusion, a terrific performance from the Dons thoroughly deserving the point they got – and more.

RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey, Aribo (Wright 77), Lundstram (Arfield 61), Kamara, Hagi, Morelos, Roofe (Sakala 77).
Subs not used: McGregor, Davis, Patterson, Simpson.

GOAL: Morelos (20), Tavernier (pen) (81)
BOOKED: Morelos

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Bates, Brown, McCrorie, Ojo, McGeouch, Ferguson, Hedges, Campbell, Hayes (Samuels 90+5), Ramirez (Watkins 62).
Subs not used: Woods, Longstaff, McGinn, Gurr, Emmanuel-Thomas.

GOAL: Ramirez (8), Brown (16)
BOOKED: Ojo, Lewis

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