Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor believes his club has silenced the critics who questioned the players’ big game mentality.
The Dons have drawn criticism for their two heavy defeats to Celtic and Rangers this season and it looked as if another mauling was on the cards as the Gers raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening half hour at Pittodrie on Wednesday.
But a stirring comeback from Derek McInnes’s side resulted in Aberdeen earning a share of the spoils in 2-2 draw.
Taylor, who made his first start since the Europa League second qualifying round first leg at Chikhura Sachkhere on July 25, insists the response to falling 2-0 behind was important for the current Dons squad.
He said: “It’s quite big thing to get a result like that. You always get questioned in these types of games and how performances and results are. You’re always judged on the big games.
“As it’s a new squad as well, I feel like it’s instilled a bit more belief in the squad.
“In my previous time here, it was already there and we had some big characters in the changing room.”
Taylor’s return to the starting line-up for the big game was an important element of his side’s remarkable comeback from a torrid opening 35 minutes on what was a landmark occasion for him following his spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Taylor, who is in his second spell with the Dons, was pleased to be able to add his experience to the side in what was a crucial game.
He said: “I was told after the game it was my 400th start. I’m close to 450 career appearances now. It’s not a bad stat after four months out. It feels longer.
“I’ve done the work with the physios to make sure that I’m fit and ready to go.
“I’ve played in some big games for this football club and they needed that in terms of what it’s like in certain big games.
“I thought I brought that in terms of organisation and communication. It was just a bit more experience in defence.
“In the first 35 minutes they were controlling the game and playing how they wanted to play. Lewis Ferguson dropped into a more central role and got involved more and played more passes.
“It helped us and then we got the goal and the game turned in our favour.”
The fightback ensured Aberdeen remain undefeated since relocating to their training base at Cormack Park during the international break and with just one defeat in their last eight matches confidence is growing in the Dons camp.
A trip to Easter Road to face an improving Hibernian side is next up for Taylor and his team-mates today. The Hibees will want to bounce back from their 2-1 loss at Ross County on Wednesday but the Dons defender insists his side is keen to build on Wednesday’s encouraging result.
He said: “I’ve played against a few of the Hibs lads. We’ve got a job to do and nullify their threat. They’ve got a good squad but we’ve got to go and do our job.
“We‘re on a good run and it’s important to keep that momentum going into a tough period during December.
“The games come thick and fast and it’s important we keep that momentum going.”