David Bates makes Rangers 'big calls' claim as Aberdeen flirt with relegation battle

Aberdeen defender David Bates admits there is a crisis of confidence in the Pittodrie club’s camp as they flirt with the prospect of relegation.

The Dons have now gone 10 league games without a win after losing 1-0 to Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.

Bates has backed his manager Jim Goodwin’s claim that Kemar Roofe’s late winner should have been disallowed for a foul on Aberdeen defender Calvin Ramsay in the build-up.

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But Bates’ main concern is Aberdeen’s slide to 10th place in the Premiership table where they are now just six points clear of the relegation play-off position.

Aberdeen defender David Bates (centre) reacts after Rangers take the lead at Ibrox. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“It is tough, confidence is low, we have dropped points, a new manager has come in and he is trying to get his message across,” said the 25-year-old.

“Is 10th an artificial position? Well, it is the position we are in. We are still close to the top six. We need to grind these results out.

“We have got two weeks until the next game and we have got a lot of training sessions. Hopefully we can get an understanding and a lot of good sessions.”

Former Rangers defender Bates took encouragement from aspects of Aberdeen’s display at Ibrox but was not surprised that referee John Beaton did not penalise the alleged foul by Calvin Bassey on Ramsay prior to the 81st minute goal.

“The boys were saying there was a foul in the build-up,” he said. “When the first cross came in there was a foul on Calvin.

“I am sure it was a foul. I thought Bassey jumped into him. You don’t get the big calls at Ibrox so we just need to move on.

“I thought we defended pretty well throughout. We tried to be organised at the back and keep it tighter. That was the gaffer’s first point when he came in. I think we did do that. I was so disappointed coming in after that late goal. It was not a great goal to concede as well.

“It has been hard for the manager to get his ideas across in the short space of time he has been in. In the previous couple of games before Saturday we had not kept the ball well enough. It had been a bit long ball.

“We spoke and we knew we had to start being braver on the ball and taking it from the goalkeeper. We know we are good at that and we are all players who play like that.

“Possession-based football, building up from the back, is better for us. It is not ideal kicking it long when you have got small wingers. It is tough that way, we are not built like that. The build-up was key on Saturday. We looked a lot better doing it.”

Aberdeen are next in action when they host Hibs on March 19 with their other two pre-split league games at Dundee on April 2 and at home to Ross County on April 9.

“The gaffer has said that we have got a lot of hard work to do in the next week,” said Bates. “Obviously he is going to get his ideas across. That can only be good for us. We will get on the same page and look forward to it.”

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