David Bates believes Aberdeen’s display in defeat to Rangers on Saturday can be the template to allow the Dons to climb the Premiership table.
The Dons defender insists that the disappointment at losing to a late Kemar Roofe goal won’t be allowed to remove the positives as they attempt to pull themselves up from tenth spot and strive for a top-six finish.
Bates also claims the Light Blues were given the benefit of the doubt in the build-up to the game’s crucial moment due to the Ibrox factor.
But he insisted there was more than enough on show from his team to have confidence they’re heading in the right direction under new boss Jim Goodwin as they look to improve on the goals against column.
He said: “The gaffer has said that we have got a lot of hard work to do in the next week. 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.
“I thought we defended pretty well throughout. We tried to be organized at the back and keep it tighter. That was the gaffer’s first point when he came in and I think we did do that.
“Obviously it was disappointing to concede late on, but I thought we defended pretty well throughout. I was so disappointed coming in after that late goal. It was not a great goal to concede, either.
“The boys were saying there was a foul in the build-up. When the first cross came in there was a foul on Calvin Ramsay.
“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.”
Former Gers and Hamburg stopper Bates is also convinced Goodwin’s message of being bolder in possession is emerging in performances as all eyes now turn to hosting Hibs a week on Saturday.
He said: “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 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.”
Goodwin is still searching for his first win since replacing Stephen Glass at Pittodrie but Bates hopes the next fortnight of work on the training ground can help transform their fortunes and prove tenth place is a false position in their bid for a strong finish to a disappointing season .
He said: “Well, it is the position we are in, but we are still close to the top six. We need to grind these results out.
“It is tough, confidence is low, we have dropped points, a new manager has come in and is trying to get his message across.
“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.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.