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Boss Stephen Glass urges Aberdeen to use Ibrox penalty pain as motivation to beat Rangers

Aberdeen's Scott Brown makes it 2-0 against Rangers at Ibrox.
Aberdeen's Scott Brown makes it 2-0 against Rangers at Ibrox.

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass will call on his squad to use their Ibrox penalty pain as motivation to overcome Rangers.

The Dons host the league leaders at Pittodrie tonight.

It is the first time the clubs have faced off since drawing 2-2 at Ibrox last October.

Aberdeen shocked the defending Premiership champions by racing into a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Ultimately it took a late controversial Rangers penalty to deny the Dons a win.

Glass insists his side were gutted to exit Ibrox with only a point.

He will use that frustration, and memories of their performance levels in Govan, to inspire the Reds.

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass at a sell out Ibrox for a 2-2 draw in October.

Tonight he wants the same performance level, but a different outcome – by securing three points.

He said: “I think any time you’ve got something good to look back on then it is positive.

“It’s going to be a different game, but, as a reference point, there’s a disappointment there that we didn’t win at Ibrox.

“It’s not like we were delighted to get a point – we were disappointed we didn’t win.

“We’re going to try and do the same again.

“We’re going to try and win this game.

“It’s a big game for us and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Bid to start 2022 with a bang

Aberdeen face the Premiership leaders in the first game back from the top-flight winter break.

The Dons registered four wins in five league fixtures in December and Glass was frustrated the momentum was derailed by the shutdown.

Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez makes it 1-0 against Rangers at Ibrox.

He said: “We were showing in December that we were coming on to a consistent performance level.

“We were winning games, being a little bit harder to beat and being a little more clinical at the top end.

“I think we were getting there. We would have preferred to have kept playing.

“Obviously the lack of fans meant it was a bonus not to keep playing, but I do think the boys are ready.”

Red Army back in force at Pittodrie

Aberdeen have not played since registering a 2-1 defeat of Dundee on Boxing Day.

That game was played in front of just 500 supporters due to restrictions on crowd numbers for outdoor sporting events.

The Scottish Government lifted that attendance cap on Monday, with unlimited crowds now allowed for football games.

Glass is relishing a return to action with the Red Army out in force.

Christian Ramirez of Aberdeen celebrates putting Aberdeen 1-0 up against Rangers.

He said: “The way they’ve been training, sometimes it feels like there’s something lacking, they want the bite of games.

“It’s almost like pre-season. You want the real stuff to start again.

“That’s the biggest thing for me.

“Both teams had a particularly good December as well.

“We’re both in the same boat, rested with a chance to plan and prepare.

“The atmosphere is always good in an Aberdeen v Rangers game.

“It’s been a while since there has been fans at one, so it’s a big thing for us to look forward to.”

Different manager, same players

Rangers have undergone a managerial change since Aberdeen drew at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard left for Aston Villa with Giovanni van Bronckhorst secured as his replacement.

Glass anticipates a change in style from Rangers under the new manager – but is ready.

He said: “As with any change of staff, you’re going to see a little bit of a change of style.

“That’s the only thing.

“They’ve still got a good group of players, but they’ve got a manager who uses them slightly differently.

“Other than that, I don’t hang too much on what they do.”

Rangers boss van Bronckhorst faces a midfield injury crisis, with Steven Davis and Scott Arfield both ruled out.

Neither will make the journey to Pittodrie.

Midfielder Joe Aribo will also miss tonight’s game as he is currently on international duty at the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria.

Glass said: “How we affect the game is important.

“We obviously pay them respect and watch them, but I’m not too concerned on getting into the differences between this manager and their previous one.”

Ruth returns from Falkirk

Meanwhile, Aberdeen have confirmed they have recalled loanee Michael Ruth from Falkirk ahead of tonight’s game.

The 20-year-old striker, who has previously spent time on loan at Arbroath, netted 4 goals in 13 appearances for the League One Bairns.

Glass and the Dons staff will now take time over what happens next with the forward.

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