Lee Wallace did not mention him by name, but seemed to make it quite clear that Rangers have been in a much better place in the last 10 days without Joey Barton.
Barton’s much publicised spat with Andy Halliday and subsequent verbal attack on manager Mark Warburton on 13 September has resulted in a three-week suspension which, in all likelihood, will lead to his exit from Ibrox.
Since then there has been something of a renaissance at Rangers. A goal-less draw with Ross County last Saturday was a poor result but the performance was better and then, on Tuesday, they showed some of their best attacking play to crush Queen of the South in the Betfred Cup.
The acid test of their revival, of course, will be at Pittodrie tomorrow but the removal of Barton from a dressing room that was very close has undoubtedly been cathartic.
The Rangers captain, pictured, said: “In that 10-day period we have definitely taken better steps forward.
“That is reflected in the training as well, the standard has been really high and we say that a lot but you can never allow that to slip. You need to take note of what you do day in and day out.
“What we do here has a direct consequence of how we do on a Saturday.
“There has definitely been confidence taken from that, more so from the Queen of the South game.
“They are a tough team, historically in the last couple of years they have proved to be difficult opponents but we were able to do what we do and score five good goals.
“We put in a really exciting last half hour and showed what we are and what we are all about.
“It was a really enjoyable one and one which has helped to keep the momentum and quality high, that makes us excited for Sunday.
“We are playing more like ourselves, back to how we were perceived to be playing last season.
“We created a number of chances against Ross County and Scott Fox had a good afternoon.
“Winning two or three nil wouldn’t have been out the question for that game.
“The Queen of the South game was more of the same, if not better. That last half an hour when we played with a that bit of risk, we came up with answers in the final third.
“We were that bit more clever around the edge of their box.
“Those are the different aspects of what we maybe weren’t doing beforehand.
“It was pleasing to see and it’s about building on that from now on.”
Wallace accepts that the criticism that has come Rangers’ way is understandable given their patchy start to the season but he knows a victory over Aberdeen would be hugely significant.
He said: “I think it’s about continuing the momentum of the last two games. We have taken positive steps and are finding our flow again.
“We understand it’s a fierce rivalry against Aberdeen, but it is a new one for a lot of the guys in that dressing room.
“We know it is going to be a tough game. We respect the fact they have been a top side in the top flight for a number of years. They are well managed with a number of good individual players who can hurt us if we are not on our game.
“We respect that, but we are going there after a 10-day period of gaining confidence and we will enjoy the game.”