Shay Logan believes justice was served when Aberdeen’s late, late show at Pittodrie on Thursday finally made Europa League opponents CS Fola Esch pay the price for the gamesmanship that had gone before.
The Dons full back scored their first goal midway through the second half but it took further strikes by Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney during seven minutes of stoppage time to ease them into a surely decisive 3-1 aggregate lead.
Up to that point it had looked like being another frustrating night for Derek McInnes’ side with Logan seemingly feeling the stresses of the Luxembourg team’s spoiling tactics more than most.
That spilled over into the player earning Aberdeen’s only booking when the red mist descended near the end of a tie in which the opposition picked up seven yellow cards for their various attempts to break the home side’s rhythm.
Those two goals in time added on meant Logan ended the night feeling much more relaxed and understanding of that approach, to the point of admitting they might do something similar themselves as the qualifiers progress.
“There was a bit of unsportsmanlike behaviour from them but fair play to them, they tried to knock us out of our stride” was Logan’s more considered response in the aftermath.
“It’s hard not to rise to it but it happens and you have to be aware of it but you can’t knock them, they knew they were up against superior opposition and that’s what they did to knock us out of our stride.
“That’s fair play. If we were to go 2-1 up against a tough team, we’d probably do the same sort of tactics, wasting time and trying to frustrate them.
“They did it to get a bit of edge over us and that’s acceptable, although it was annoying for us. But they were actually a better team than I thought they would be.
“They will need to come out at us and bring it to us in the second leg though, so that should suit us.”
Aberdeen would have won more comfortably had it not been for a series of fine saves by goalkeeper Thomas Hym, but their intensity and work rate finally delivered the result they were looking for.
No one typified that more than McGinn who started the game just a few days after playing in Northern Ireland’s defeat by Wales in the European Championships in France.
It means McGinn has hardly had a break in the last two years and Logan for one is full of admiration for a colleague who never seems to let his standards slip.
“We get time off during the year when there are international breaks but Niall gets nothing” he added.
“He’s had a good campaign with Northern Ireland at the Euros and scored a great goal so the manager might give him time off because he’s been going a long time and he’s earned it.
“It’s a tough shift for him but he gives everything for Aberdeen and always plods on.”