10-man Dons in ‘fan­tas­tic’ Ibrox win

Dons boss praises team’s ‘fan­tas­tic’ win over Rangers af­ter week­end’s dis­may

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY SEAN WAL­LACE CHIEF FOOT­BALL WRITER

ABERDEEN boss Derek Mcinnes to­day hailed his Ibrox he­roes for reg­is­ter­ing back to back wins over Rangers in Glas­gow. The Dons dumped the Gers 1-0 to fol­low up Oc­to­ber’s Bet­fred Cup semi-fi­nal win over Steven Ger­rard’s side. De­fender Scott Mckenna grabbed the goal for a mem­o­rable win that top­pled Rangers off the top of the Premier­ship ta­ble. It was vic­tory that ham­mered home that Aberdeen are ready to bat­tle hard to re­tain their sta­tus as Scot­land’s sec­ond force. Dons striker Sam Cos­grove was dis­missed in the first half for a sec­ond yel­low card. Mcinnes in­sists the Ibrox tri­umph was a “shot in the arm” af­ter the heartache of los­ing Sun­day’s Bet­fred Cup fi­nal to Celtic. He said: “For us to go to Ibrox and get three points is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of Sun­day.”

DONS boss Derek Mcinnes to­day con­firmed striker Sam Cos­grove will not be hit by a club fine for be­ing sent off at Ibrox. The 22-year-old was dis­missed in the first half for a sec­ond yel­low card. Mcinnes slated the de­ci­sion by ref­eree Steven Mclean as “as­ton­ish­ing” and in­sists Cos­grove has noth­ing to be sorry for. De­spite that set­back the Reds tri­umphed 1-0 to knock Rangers off the top of the Premier­ship ta­ble. Scott Mckenna’s su­perb early strike was enough to se­cure back to back wins in Glas­gow over Rangers. Aberdeen fol­lowed up Oc­to­ber’s Bet­fred Cup semi-fi­nal de­feat of Gers at Ham­p­den. Mcinnes hailed the Ibrox win as a “fan­tas­tic achieve­ment” and a “shot in the arm” af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of los­ing the Bet­fred Cup fi­nal 1-0 to Celtic on Sun­day. How­ever, he will not rap Cos­grove for a red that could have put that win in jeop­ardy fol­low­ing a chal­lenge with Con­nor Gold­son. Mcinnes said: “Sam won’t be get­ting fined hav­ing seen it again. “He has noth­ing to be sorry for. I saw it again and it just con­firmed what I thought at the time. Sam gets the first touch. The ball goes into the Rangers end be­hind the goal and for me it is com­ing to­gether. “I don’t think it is a foul to any­body. “If any­thing it is a foul to us. To deem that a yel­low card, with the boy al­ready on a yel­low, I find it as­ton­ish­ing that he has been sent off for that. “His team­mates dug him out. “Fer­gu­son, Shin­nie and Ball just put in one-and-a-half per­for­mances in­stead of the one.” Par­ity was re­stored just af­ter the hour mark when Columbian in­ter­na­tional striker Al­fredo More­los was also sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card. More­los ap­peared to catch Dons skip­per Graeme Shin­nie with his arm in a fiery clash. Mcinnes said: “It was a re­ally dif­fi­cult match for the ref­eree to man­age. “Rangers, Aberdeen games, I have played in them and man­aged enough of them now as well. “They are tough games to ref­eree be­cause both sets of fans ex­pect their play­ers to be fully com­mit­ted. “That is what we got, there were two com­mit­ted teams and a lot of nig­gles, bumps and chal­lenges. “I just feel with the Cos­grove one maybe just take a breath on that and think of the con­se­quences. “I don’t see it as a yel­low card and for that to ac­cu­mu­late into a red was the wrong de­ci­sion.” Aberdeen are now four games un­de­feated against Rangers. This sea­son the Reds have won two and drawn one of the head to heads against an ex­pen­sively as­sem­bled Gers side where Steven Ger­rard splashed in ex­cess of £10 mil­lion in the sum­mer. Vic­tory at Ibrox was a state­ment of in­tent on Aberdeen’s

in­ten­tion to not be usurped by the Ibrox club as Scot­land’s sec­ond force. It moved the Dons back up into the Premier­ship top six and slashed the gap on Rangers to six points – but the Reds have a game in hand. Mcinnes hailed his Ibrox he­roes. He said: “It is a real shot in the arm when you see the play­ers put so much in. “We had to try and pick our­selves up off the floor af­ter Sun­day when we put a lot into the fi­nal. “That was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult for us but I was pleased with a lot of the as­pects of the ac­tual game against Celtic. We spoke be­fore­hand to the play­ers about how we don’t just want to be a cup team. We have al­ways prided our­selves on our league form over the last few sea­sons.” The clash with Rangers was the first of eight Premier­ship games packed into De­cem­ber that could shape the cam­paign. He said: “We wanted to try and make sure with a cou­ple of home games in hand that we see the im­por­tance of each and ev­ery three points in De­cem­ber. “The first three came at Ibrox and we knew we would have to do a lot of things right.”

Striker Sam Cos­grove was sent off in the first half Dons man­ager Derek Mcinnes says Cos­grove won’t be fined

Rangers’ Kyle Laf­ferty and Aberdeen’s Shay Lo­gan

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