CHARLIE NICHOLAS insists Aberdeen will have to prove they are not big-game bottlers by winning at Ibrox on Saturday – for the first time in QUARTER-OF-A-CENTURY!
The former Dons striker believes Derek McInnes will have to lift his players after their 3-0 Betfred League Cup Final loss against Celtic at Hampden on Sunday.
Nicholas thinks victory over Mark Warburton’s men in Govan – where the Pittodrie side haven’t been successful in 25 years – is now a must to prove their backbone.
Aberdeen’s last victory at Ibrox came in September 1991, just over a year after Nicholas returned to Celtic following his £400,000 move to Pittodrie from Arsenal in January 1988.unspecified-53
Four of the Dons’ starting line-up at Hampden weren’t born when Alex Smith led them to that win, but TV pundit Nicholas has told the current crop the pressure will be on them and the manager if they don’t beat Gers.

He said: “I thought Derek McInnes would have had a stronger mentality in the group, but it looks like they’ve gone back the way.

“If you’re waiting for something happening then it’s fear and that’s what happened at Hampden. And fear gets you nothing. I was disappointed on Sunday and Derek, although he won’t admit it in public, will be wondering if these players have got it.

“We keep hearing this chat about building and I understand they have to say certain things.

“But, deep down, I’m sure Derek will be so disappointed in his players and questioning if they turn up in the big games.

“They have to show their bottle at Ibrox, go out with courage and be positive on the ball.

“I can’t believe it’s 25 years since Aberdeen won there. Sometimes when those statistics come out it scares you to death.

“Aberdeen were never frightened of Glasgow in my day – I know it was Alex Ferguson who started it – but it’s now a mental block.

“But if they turn up and lose, then Derek comes under scrutiny, not for his job, but the question will have to be asked if he’s building the way many thought.

“There is a pressure on them now to beat Rangers because if Rangers can get some momentum then they could prove me wrong as I said at the start of the season they were four players short, have no pace in the centre of defence and their goalkeeper is fairly average.

“There is a big gap between them and Celtic, but I thought Aberdeen were stronger than Rangers and while I still take Aberdeen to finish second, I’m not as convinced.”


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