Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass was delighted to see his players’ resolve after they came from behind to beat Livingston 2-1 thanks to an injury-time winner from Jack Mackenzie.
Former Don Bruce Anderson’s header gave Livingston a half-time lead before Teddy Jenks fired home an equaliser at the start of the second half.
Glass made six changes from the team which beat Breidablik 3-2 in the Conference League third qualifying round first leg in Reykjavik on Thursday and it showed as the Dons struggled to get going in the first half at Tony Macaroni Arena.
But the Dons boss was delighted to see his side’s perseverance pay off following a strong second half display.
He said: “Our first half performance was a bit slow. We allowed them to dictate a bit, but off the back of the travel and changes it was understandable. The response in the second half was more important.
“You’ve got Thursday in the back of your mind, but it was more to do with last Thursday.
“A couple had knocks, but we’re not good enough to be clever. It’s about getting the best out of the players.
“It’s important to be patient with the players who haven’t played. You have to show a level of patience as staff not to make changes at half-time.
“It was important to be tolerant of our levels in the first half, but the players got the rewards for their work.
“They’ve worked hard and had no reward of playing time so to score that last minute winner I’m delighted for them.”
Mackenzie’s goal sparked wild scenes of celebrations among the players and the Aberdeen supporters, with a large contingent of fans spilling on to the pitch to celebrate the left back’s surprise winner.
The sizeable contingent who spilled on to the pitch was impossible to ignore, but the Dons boss believes their emotion was understandable in what was the first away game in almost 18 months.
He said: “I think it shows what it means, people have had some emotions pent up across the country.
“I’m pleased they were given that opportunity to show their backing. You could feel it and it did drive the team on.
“With the performance level the fans could feel there was something coming.
“Supporters drive players on and I think you’ll see good games this season because of that. I can’t wait for places to be full every week.”
When asked on whether fans should have been on the pitch, Glass said: “You don’t want people to come on the pitch, but I think there’s pent-up frustration and emotion.
“It’s not up to me to steward the fans. All we can do is put something on the pitch and hope they are delighted to see it.
“That’s really all I can say on it. It’s not for me to police and keep people in the stands or have enough stewards around.”
Lewis Ferguson missed the game due to a knock suffered in Iceland, while Funso Ojo was withdrawn after failing to come through the pre-match warm-up. Jonny Hayes also limped off after kicking the turf before the break.
However, Glass is hopeful they will all be available on Thursday.
He said: “I think they’ll be okay. Funso I’m less knowledgeable about, while Jonny was in pain.
“We think Fergie will make it for Thursday. You want him on the pitch, but maybe protecting him today means we can use him.”