Keeper Kelle Roos has warned there can be no more hard-luck stories for Aberdeen as they ready to fly to Finland in the wake of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Rangers.
The Dons will face HJK Helsinki in the Finnish capital on Thursday in Group G of the Europa Conference League.
Dutch stopper Roos was left frustrated after a dramatic late penalty following a VAR review denied the Dons a Pittodrie win against the Gers.
Aberdeen were leading 1-0 after the regulation 90 minutes until the controversial late spot-kick was awarded and converted.
For Roos, there have been too many incidents of “ifs and buts” this season where the Reds have felt regret at not securing a win they deserved.
Aberdeen were 2-0 up against Group G leaders PAOK in the Europa Conference League with 17 minutes remaining – but lost 3-2.
The Dons hopes of qualifying from the Euro group stages are over.
Roos believes top teams are able to deliver wins and not be left with regret.
And for the 31-year-old that starts against HJK Helsinki.
He said: “We need to step away from starting to talk about ifs and buts. And we could have and should have.
“We need to get what we deserve in games.
“What happens if you perform at the top in sport is that you need to be able to take what you deserve from games.”
Strong performance by defenders
Aberdeen were on course to secure back-to-back league wins against Rangers for the first time since 1993.
Roos said: “We took the game plan on board and moved the ball out of congested areas.
“We used our energy to press, cause problems, win balls and try to turn them over.
“Also we created some big chances and gave everybody confidence that it was going to be all the ingredients for a great day.
“There were also a lot of very strong performance from my defenders.
“So we are very frustrated to concede so late in the game.
“They needed to come up with something special, so it is a sore one to happen in this manner.”
🔵 Rangers equalise in stoppage time!
After a VAR check, referee Nick Walsh points to the spot – Tavernier makes no mistake in making it 1-1. Your thoughts on a crazy few minutes of football? 👇 pic.twitter.com/rD6Xxiic0z
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) November 26, 2023
Clarity needed over ‘blurry’ block rule
Aberdeen were 1-0 up early in injury time when the penalty was awarded following a VAR review.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, Aberdeen boss Barry Robson was frustrated a block on Gartenmann during the penalty incident was not picked up by a VAR review.
Roos has the same frustration.
He said: “Another question I have is, for example, if this is a foul, why are you still allowed to block people with no intent on getting the ball?
“It happens at every corner – every team does it.
“People use blockers, to stand still and get in the way of other people, yet that is fine.
“It is just very blurry, which is probably why it takes so long for VAR and the referee.
“I will leave the decision out of that, but I think it is a very tough position.
“Also on a screen it is very hard to see what impact something has – is it little, or a reason to go down?
“It was a harsh one for us.”
Rangers captain James Tavernier converted the penalty by shooting straight down the middle to beat Roos.
The equaliser was scored four minutes into injury time.
Roos said: “It is a hard one.
“Tavernier is what he is. He is a great player for them and he mixes it up a lot
“I tried to look at him as I always do, but he lifted it a little bit higher and my trailing leg couldn’t get there.”
Gartenmann is ‘a brilliant pro’
Centre-back Gartenmann has impressed since arriving in the summer on loan from Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland.
The defender scored the opener in the 3-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox in September.
However, he was to suffer late heartache against the Gers at Pittodrie when his shirt tug was penalised for the penalty.
The 26-year-old is contracted to Midtjylland until summer 2025.
Asked how Gartenmann was after the late penalty, Roos said: “Stefan is good. He is a brilliant pro.
“He is obviously not be happy with it – that’s football – but he has the experience to know what he has to do.
“Stefan was outstanding. They all had a tough time against him and he probably didn’t deserve that.”