Dons roll with Ball sphere of influence

Dominic Ball in action for Rangers last year

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has backed new signing Dominic Ball to bring some aggression to the Dons.

Ball became the final signing of the August window when he joined on a season-long loan from Rotherham United.

McInnes voiced his concern about the lack of height in his team after the 4-3 win at Partick Thistle before the international break. The Aberdeen manager believes the Englishman’s versatility and resilience will make him a valuable addition.

He said: “He’ll bring some size, which we need. We were questioned defensively after the Partick Thistle game but I think we actually defended well as a back four and goalkeeper in the game.

“But we were vulnerable at set-plays and, as good as we can be defensively, there is still a need to pick up the basic threats at set-pieces. Dominic will help us address that.

“As a defensive midfielder he handles the ball well. As centre half he is aggressive and he can play at right back, too.

“It’s no secret I’ve been looking for cover for Shay Logan and Dominic will give us that.

“His versatility is an asset but he’s more than a versatile player. He’s hungry to play here and will be very effective in whatever role we ask him to play.”

Ball goes into the Reds squad for Saturday’s trip to Edinburgh to face Hearts.

The game will be played at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby, as Tyne-castle remains out of use after the reconstruction of the Main Stand.

More than 6,000 Aberdeen supporters will travel to the capital for the game and McInnes is eager to repay the backing of the Red Army.

He said: “We’ll go to Murrayfield on Friday, so the players can familiarise themselves with their surroundings.

“We’re looking forward to it. From our point of view there’s no sideshow element because it’s a rugby stadium.

“We’re focused on the game and approaching it like a European tie in letting the players see inside the stadium before we play the game.

“But when Saturday comes our only focus is on bringing a performance.

“It has a cup semi-final feel to it which is exciting. It will be like the Betfred Cup semi-final against Morton last season. The stadium won’t be full but we will be well supported.

“Our supporters are excited by the quirkiness of the occasion.

“They realise this is an opportunity to play Hearts in Edinburgh with a much larger backing than we can take to Tynecastle.

“It’s been brilliant to see and hopefully we can repay that support by getting a result.”