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Defender Stefan Gartenmann wants Aberdeen to show big game mentality against Rangers at Ibrox

Loan star insists pushing Bundesliga giants Eintracht Frankfurt hard in Germany proves Aberdeen are ready to end a four-year wait for a win at Ibrox.

Aberdeen's Stefan Gartenmann, left, and Ross County's Yan Dhanda
Aberdeen's Stefan Gartenmann, left, and Ross County's Yan Dhanda. Image: SNS.

Loan star Stefan Gartenmann believes Aberdeen are ready to prove at Ibrox they are now a team with a big game mentality.

The Danish defender believes their big game character was clearly shown when the Dons pushed Eintracht Frankfurt hard in Germany.

He reckons the Reds had the Bundesliga club on the ropes late on before being edged out 2-1 in the Europa Conference League Group G clash.

Aberdeen rose to the occasion in front of 58,000 fans in Germany and Gartenmann insists they are ready to do it again with more than 50,000 at Ibrox.

The 26-year-old points to the similarity in size of Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers, the club the Germans beat in the 2022 Europa League final.

The centre-back wants the same performance levels against Rangers to those delivered in Germany– but  with a different outcome.

Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann shoots against Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany. Image: SNS

He said: “After the Frankfurt game you pretty much compare the two clubs.

“The number of fans and size of the club, although Frankfurt have a bigger ground in terms of capacity than Rangers.

“Everybody knows how good Frankfurt are.

“Making it a 50/50 game against them was good because they had a World Cup winner (Mario Gotze), German internationalists and good players.

“We matched them and we felt on top at the end of the game and felt we deserved a point.

“That gave us a lot of confidence.

“It will be the first time at Ibrox for many of us.

“However we go there with confidence and in the hope we can do something.

“Ibrox is special and we have the type of squad who can rise to the occasion for these games.”

Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann complains to the officials during the game against Eintracht Frankfurt. Image: SNS

‘We need to play a clever game’

Aberdeen will travel to Ibrox in buoyant mood following a two-game winning streak.

The Dons suffered a dismal start to the domestic campaign having failed to win in any of the opening five Premiership fixtures.

They finally secured a league win at the sixth time of asking when beating Ross County 4-0 on Sunday.

Then just days later they again beat Ross County 2-1 in Dingwall to progress to the Viaplay Cup semi-final.

Confidence is rising but Gartenmann insists the Don need to be “clever” as they chase a first win at Ibrox since March 2019.

Ross County’s Simon Murray and Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann in action during the Viaplay Cup semi-final. Image: SNS

He said: “We don’t want to go there with too much confidence thinking we are top of Scotland now and we can play in any game.

“We need to play a clever game and be aware of our own strengths and weaknesses.”

Gartenmann relishing ‘new challenge’ of Ibrox

Gartenmann was secured on a season-long loan from Danish top flight FC Midtjylland on transfer deadline day.

He admits playing in front of more than 50,000 at stadiums like Ibrox was an attraction in joining the Dons.

However experiencing a different league, including a “rainy night at Ross County” was equally attractive.

Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann (L) and Hearts’ Stephen Kingsley in action. Image: SNS

He said: “Playing games at places like Ibrox is one of the reasons but also seeing something different.

“We are footballers who like to play in big games.

“It is also an experience to go to a rainy night at Ross County.

“When you play in the same league for six years like I did, it is nice to do something different.

“Ibrox raises the bar a little bit more and we are just enjoying things at the moment.

“I am just enjoying at the moment because every stadium and team is new and I need to adapt to new players.

“Rangers and Ross County are at different ends of the spectrum.

“It is a new challenge and something to look forward to.”

Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during a Viaplay Cup Quarter-final at Ross County. Image: SNS

Aberdeen ‘very strong’ on and off the pitch

Having signed on transfer deadline day Gartenmann has quickly established himself as a pivotal cog in the Dons’ defence.

He has started the previous four games and is expected to retain his slot at Ibrox.

Gartenmann was one of 13 summer signings secured in a comprehensive summer rebuild of the squad.

He is confident the new-look Reds are beginning to gel and are on an upwards trajectory.

Ester Sokler celebrates his goal against Ross County in the Viaplay Cup. Image: Shutterstock.

He said: “The two game against Ross County were different.

“In the first we were in control and won quite comfortably.

“The other, in the cup, it was a little more nervous.

“The good teams win on the good and bad days and that is what we take from those games.

“A month ago, it would probably have gone in the other direction.

“It is good that we are starting to win games.

“I feel it is a very strong group in terms of levels on the pitch and also in terms of the team spirit away from the pitch.”