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Jim Goodwin urges his Aberdeen players to face Rangers with confidence

Aberdeen travel to Ibrox on Saturday on a three-match winning run.

Jim Goodwin urges his Aberdeen players to face Rangers with confidence SNS Group

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin has challenged his players to take their confidence to Ibrox and not show Rangers too much respect.

The Dons have won three games in a row and sit third in the cinch Premiership ahead of their trip to Govan.

Rangers dropped points at home to Livingston last weekend and suffered another heavy defeat in the Champions League in midweek, with a 3-0 defeat against Napoli making it 19 goals conceded in five European matches.

Goodwin said: “The guys in my squad are very confident, a lot of self-belief in the group, we are scoring plenty of goals.

“I think it’s only Celtic in all competitions who have conceded less goals than us and I think it’s only Celtic in all competitions who have scored more goals than us.

“So we are in a very, very good place just now. We know it’s going to be anything but easy because we respect the opposition and I have a lot of time for their manager as well.

“But by their own admission, they are not in a great place just now. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has said in recent press conferences that they aren’t playing to the levels they are capable of and in front of their own crowd last weekend against Livingston they were below par, by Gio’s admission.

“We have to make sure that’s the case again this weekend – that we get the game plan right, that we are brave on the ball, and we are defensively organised and disciplined.”

Goodwin, whose side who will also face Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup semi-finals in January, added: “I have asked my players to remember that we are a good team too and that we don’t go to Ibrox and over-respect the opposition.

“Mindset is a big thing when you are going into these games, especially away from home, against Rangers and Celtic. A lot of teams can be very defeatist and very negative before a ball is kicked. But I don’t see that within our group.

“There’s a lot of new faces who haven’t been involved in this type of fixture before. This is one of the reasons why a number of players we signed came to the Scottish Premiership in the first place, because they want to test themselves against the likes of Rangers who have a lot of good international players.

“We want to see how far away we are as a group as well. We are sitting third in the table, there’s an incentive there to close the gap on Rangers in second.

“But we want to see what exactly is required to get to that next level and Saturday could give us a good understanding of that.”