Anthony Stewart on Aberdeen confidence and why it remains unshaken after Rangers rout
“It doesn’t affect that,” he said. “What it does do is give us a bit of homework to do. We know how they play when they are playing their best and we learn from that.”
Aberdeen are also scheduled to host both Celtic and Rangers in successive games directly after the World Cup break. Stewart is confident it will be a different story then too. “Having our home fans will be massive, they are like a 12th man for us,” he said.
As well as having the majority of supporters on their side at Pittodrie, there will be a more even distribution of tickets at Hampden as well. Sometimes a partisan crowd can be counterproductive if things are not progressing well on the pitch.
Stewart regretted not taking advantage of early signs that the Ibrox crowd was beginning to turn on their side on Saturday. Aberdeen started strongly and there was evidence of unease within the home support even before Connor Barron gave the visitors the lead after 21 minutes.
“I feel like we didn’t keep the ball well enough for the fans to fully turn,” he said. “I felt like they always felt they could get back in from it. That is where we fell short.
“We should have put our foot on the ball, taken a rest on the ball and kept the ball away from them so the fans can turn on them. I don’t think they allowed it. It was quite end-to-end in the first-half. Anyone could have scored really.”
Stewart does not imagine the defeat will change the team’s bullish outlook in such games. “That comes from the camp,” he said. “We have got a good team and we have proven that this season. Everyone sees Rangers and Celtic as a free hit. We don’t.”
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