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Aberdeen can make Pittodrie a fortress in 2022, warns striker Christian Ramirez

Aberdeen's Christian Ramirez at full time in the 1-0 defeat of St Johnstone.
Aberdeen's Christian Ramirez at full time in the 1-0 defeat of St Johnstone.

Striker Christian Ramirez has warned Premiership rivals Aberdeen aim to make Pittodrie a feared fortress in 2022.

Aberdeen called time on 2021 with a third straight home win when beating Dundee 2-1.

Ramirez insists the 4-1 Pittodrie demolition of St Mirren last month set the tone for what is needed at home.

The 30-year-old hopes the Reds will recreate those levels after the winter shutdown.

Aberdeen return from the break with a rescheduled clash against league leaders Rangers at Pittodrie on Tuesday January 18.

That game was originally scheduled for December 29, but the winter shutdown was brought forward in light of new restrictions for sporting events in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently confirmed all outdoor events in the country would be limited to 500 spectators from December 26 for ‘up to three weeks’.

The hope is that Aberdeen will face Rangers with the Red Army back in force inside Pittodrie doing their bit to make it a ‘fortress’.

Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez celebrates scoring to make it 2-0 against St Mirren.

Ramirez said: “We need to make Pittodrie a fortress.

“Too many times this season we were dominating teams but not getting that goal to separate us or to open up the game.

“The game against St Mirren really set the tone.”

Aberdeen delivering wins at home

Aberdeen are beginning to deliver on Ramirez’ vow to make the stadium a ‘fortress’.

Of the previous six games in the Granite City, the Dons have won five.

Despite that recent strong return, Aberdeen only have the fifth-best home record in the top flight, with 19 points from 10 games at Pittodrie.

Christian Ramirez has scored 11 times this season.

Of the Dons’ 25  league goals this season, 60% have been scored at Pittodrie.

It is on the road Aberdeen have struggled with a measly eight points from 10 games.

Aberdeen’s away points return is the same as bottom club St Johnstone, who have played a game less on the road.

Immediate impact from Ramirez

United States international Ramirez has been a hit since signing from MLS side Houston Dynamo in the summer.

Aberdeen secured the striker on a two-year contract and had to negotiate a number of hurdles to push through his signing.

The fans’ favourite has netted 11 goals in all competitions so far to repay that faith.

Ramirez is second in the Premiership scoring chart with eight league goals, level with Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) and Alfredo Morelos (Rangers).

Only Motherwell’s Tony Watt has scored more in the league this season with nine goals.

Ramirez is determined his goals will count for wins this season as the Dons bid to climb further up the Premiership table.

Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez celebrates scoring in the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren.

Asked what his goal scoring target was, he said: “As many as we need.

“I’m just hoping to not waste goals with losses.

“Some of my goals ended up in a couple of losses or a draw.

“I just want my goals to count towards wins.

“It is just a case of keeping building to get us closer to where we need to be.”

‘I came from a very athletic, physical league’

Ramirez has been a near ever-present in manager Stephen Glass’ starting line up.

Twice capped by the United States, he has started 23 games in all competitions for the Dons this season.

The only game he has been fit for and not started was the 2-1 League Cup loss to Raith Rovers in August.

Ramirez was rested on the bench ahead of a Europa Conference League play-off tie with Qarabag in Azerbaijan just days later.

Aberdeen’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Christian Ramirez after the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren.

Fit and available for manager Glass, the striker insists he quickly adapted to the physical nature of the Scottish Premiership.

He said: “It’s been alright. It’s what I expected.

“It’s a different type of bruising defender than what I was used to in the States.

“I came from a very athletic, physical league in the MLS.

“So I knew a little bit of what I should expect, but it’s been fun.

“Without VAR it makes it a little tougher to get certain calls in the box when guys are grabbing you.

“It is what it is and sometimes you use that to your advantage.

“I watched the games early on and worked out how I can use my body to cause problems for centre-halves, too.”

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