Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty wants to exorcise the demons of the heaviest defeat of his tenure when the Dons return to Ibrox tomorrow.
Derek McInnes’ side suffered their biggest loss of his reign on September 28 when a depleted Dons were thrashed 5-0 by a rampant Rangers in Glasgow.
Aberdeen restored some pride with a spirited display to draw 2-2 at Pittodrie when the sides last met but Docherty wants to make amends for the Ibrox mauling on his side’s return tomorrow.
He said: “The last Rangers game at Ibrox was one which haunts us. There were reasons for that as we had a lot of injuries and Andy Considine pulled out on the day of the game. We don’t make excuses as we still put out a team we felt would be competitive but we weren’t competitive.
“We were smarting from that result and we want to go back there and give a performance more like the one we gave when we last played them at Pittodrie.
“We were 2-0 down and the players dug it out to get it back to 2-2 before Sam Cosgrove had a great chance from a corner. We’ll draw more on that performance but certainly we want to redress that last away game.”
Aberdeen’s heavy loss at Ibrox was painful one but their recent record in Glasgow against the Light Blues is respectable with two wins, one in the league and the other in the Scottish Cup, and a League Cup semi-final win at Hampden, all recorded by McInnes’ men.
Docherty believes those experiences will prove vital tomorrow.
He said: “We’ve got players here who have been part of winning teams in Glasgow and it is important we draw on that. Our most recent performance against them shows if we do things right we can match them.
“It will be difficult as Rangers are a good side. They are competing with Celtic for the title and there will be twists along the way but we just have to make sure we are as strong an opponent as we can be to get a positive result.”
The Rangers match represents the start of a pivotal month in Aberdeen’s season and one Docherty believes will be crucial in the club’s dual bid to secure European football and Scottish Cup glory.
He said: “It’s a busy month and when you add the Scottish Cup into that it’s a huge one as well.
“We will hopefully have seven games if we continue in the Scottish Cup and this is a defining month. We need to make sure we go a long way to achieving the objectives we have set in the month of February.”
The Dons are also working on adding to their squad before tonight’s transfer deadline in time for their trip to Glasgow.
The Dons assistant has not given up hope of having new faces on board and added: “We’re still active.
“We’re trying to get one or two things done but it will go to the wire. We’re endeavouring to get a couple of things done.”