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Aberdeen defender David Bates insists playing out from the back will be key to top six bid

Alfredo Morelos and David Bates in action at Ibrox.
Alfredo Morelos and David Bates in action at Ibrox.

Defender David Bates believes being braver on the ball and playing out from the back will be key to Aberdeen’s top six bid.

Centre-back Bates is confident the Reds can still finish in the Premiership’s top six.

The Dons are languishing in 10th spot but are only four points off the top half.

With three games remaining before the split, Bates is upbeat Aberdeen can still secure a top six berth.

He reckons the key will be building up from the back and eradicating long balls upfield.

David Bates during the 1-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox.

Bates said: “Obviously confidence is quite low as we are dropping points.

“However we have shown we can go to Ibrox and play.

“We know as a group we are good enough, we just need to get clean sheets and wins.

“There is that belief. We have three games and know they are winnable.

“We are still close to the top six and need to grind these results out.

“It has been hard for the manager to get his ideas across in the short space of time he has been in.

“In the previous couple of games before Saturday we had not kept the ball well enough.

“It had been a bit long ball.

“We spoke and knew we had to start being braver on the ball and taking it from the keeper.

“Possession-based football, building up from the back, is better for us.

“We know we are good at that and are all players who play like that.

“It’s not ideal kicking it long when you have small wingers.

“It’s tough that way, we are not built like that. The build-up was key on Saturday.

“We looked a lot better doing it.”

David Bates in action for Aberdeen.

‘You don’t get the big calls at Ibrox’

Aberdeen were denied a point when Kemar Roofe netted a late winner in the 81st minute.

Manager Jim Goodwin was adamant the goal should not have stood as Calvin Ramsay was fouled by Calvin Bassey in the build up.

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie and Rangers’ Ryan Jack in action at Ibrox.

Bates said: “When the first cross came in there was a foul on Calvin.

“I’m sure it was a foul. I thought Bassey jumped into him.

“You don’t get the big calls at Ibrox so we just need to move on.”

The need to end clean sheet drought

Aberdeen have secured just five clean sheets in 39 games in all competitions this season.

Scotland international Bates says that defensive frailty was one of the first issues new manager Goodwin addressed upon arriving at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen lost out 1-0 to Rangers at Ibrox.

He said: “That was the gaffer’s first point when he came in.

“I thought we defended pretty well throughout.

“We tried to be organised at the back and keep it tighter. We did that.

“I was so disappointed coming in after that late goal.

“It was not a great goal to concede.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin against Rangers at Ibrox.

Gap before next game against Hibs

Aberdeen have an inactive weekend and are not in action again until they face Hibs at Pittodrie on Saturday March 19.

Goodwin has had to pack four games into his first two weeks as manager.

Now he will have two weeks to get his message across on the training pitch.

Connor Barron of Aberdeen and Alfredo Morelos of Rangers at Ibrox.

Bates said: “The gaffer has said that we have got a lot of hard work to do in the next week.

“Obviously he is going to get his ideas across.

“That can only be good for us.

“We will get on the same page and look forward to it.

“There is two weeks until the next game and we have got a lot of training sessions.

“Hopefully we can get an understanding and a lot of good sessions.”

 

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