Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes last night hailed his side’s battling qualities as the Dons rallied from 2-0 down to earn a draw with Rangers at Pittodrie.
Goals from Scott Arfield and former Don Ryan Jack put Steven Gerrard’s side 2-0 up after half an hour before Jon Gallagher’s first goal for the Dons and Andy Considine’s equaliser earned Aberdeen a share of the spoils.
A delighted McInnes said: “The whole reference point for us has been the two Old Firm games this season. We’re four points ahead of last season’s tally and everyone wants to slap us down for the Old Firm games – I get that. But our actual league form is good.
“We’ve had one defeat in eight, that was against Celtic, and the players are doing fine. My players are working away fine and we just have to keep to turning out results.
“I needed to see it from my players, that type of resilience. My two centre backs were outstanding in the second half and we stood up to it well.
“It’s good my players are slightly disappointed they only took a point but the fact they rolled their sleeves up and got a point is important. I needed to see that, never mind the supporters.”
While there was joy for McInnes his counterpart Gerrard was far from pleased at seeing his side squander a two-goal lead to slip behind Celtic in the Premiership title race, just days before the two sides are due to meet in Sunday’s Betfred Cup final at Hampden.
The Gers boss said: “We need to reset the mindset very quickly as it is the cup final against our rivals.
“We were dominant and controlling the game. I was so pleased with what I was seeing but we conceded a silly goal and it flipped the whole momentum of the game.
“We were too confident at 2-0 and Aberdeen went direct in the second half and we couldn’t handle the pressure.
“We conceded another goal and they had chances again. It’s frustrating as had we done what we were doing we would have won the game.
“We need to manage games better, especially when you are away to your rivals. At 2-0 up, to concede a goal like that is disappointing.”