ABERDEEN manager Craig Brown has vowed his team will be motivated by recent “injustice” as they battle to force their way into the top six of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Aberdeen slipped down to eighth in the SPL after a weekend in which they drew 1-1 at Kilmarnock, during a game when Niall McGinn was wrongly booked for diving by Euan Norris after being brought down by goalkeeper Cammy Bell inside the box.
McGinn also hit the post at Rugby Park as Aberdeen saw tonight’s opponents, Ross County, jump above them in the SPL after a 3-0 win at home to Motherwell. County also have a game in hand and defeat for the Dons could leave them further adrift as most of the league looks to earn a top-half slot. But Brown expects his men to come out fighting after what he felt was the latest in a line of dubious decisions to go against them.
The former Scotland manager said: “I cannot think of a time this season where we have had a marginal decision given to us and that’s disappointing. When you feel a bit persecuted, it gives you a desire and it also usually affects the crowd because they feel the injustice.
“The players feel the injustice and put more in to try to rectify the situation. There are groups of players who cry in their beer and give up because of what happened but we have a group who are determined to fight through adversity.
“We revel in adversity and you will see that in the forthcoming games that Aberdeen won’t give in to any adversity that we have unfortunately had. There’s a fighting squad in the dressing-room, there’s a fighting mentality on the bench and I’m definitely committed to winning games and not accepting anything short of success.”
Despite slipping out of the top six, Brown has been happy with recent performances that have also seen them beat Dundee 1-0 and draw 0-0 with St Mirren. “I would say two-and-a- half of the last three have been encouraging,” he said. “I thought we played well enough against St Mirren and didn’t get the goal we needed. We played well first half against Dundee.
“We played consistently well and had five really good chances at Kilmarnock, and obviously hit the post and had the controversial penalty decision.
“The lads can’t be faulted for recent performances. We need to maintain that. We have five games before the split, three at home, and we just ask the home support to be as supportive as the away support, and I’m sure we will get the points that take us up into the top half.”
Ross County manager Derek Adams expects his side to face an early onslaught from Aberdeen.
Adams has noticed that Brown’s men start the game quickly and will have his men prepared for an intense opening to the game. The former Dons player said: “Aberdeen are a team that start games very well. They play at a high tempo for the first 25 minutes and try to get a goal in that period of time. We are aware of that. They did that on Saturday against Kilmarnock and the many times I have seen them this season they have tried to do that.”
County have shown they are well capable of withstanding pressure in their debut season in the SPL with 11 clean sheets in their 27 games, second only to Celtic. The Dingwall side match Celtic in the recent form table, taking 13 points from their most recent five matches.
Adams added: “We would like to keep the run going. We are under no illusions how difficult it is going to Pittodrie. We have done well against them this season, we have won one and drawn one. We go there in a positive frame of mind after an impressive performance against Motherwell.”