DAVID BATES was delighted to come back into the team yesterday and for the squad to put in such a determined performance to win three points.
The defender played two games early in the season before picking up an injury which kept him out of the side for ten weeks.
However, with Bruno Alves missing the trip to Pittodrie yesterday with an injury, Bates came back into the side and explained that it’s been a frustrating start to the season for him. He said: “Yes, it’s obviously been tough.
“I was out right at the start of the season for about ten weeks and getting back to fitness and sharpness and to come straight back into a big game like this and win three points at Aberdeen to go above them is great.
“The display that the boys put in is great, especially when we go down to ten men is immense. You can see the togetherness and the way that everyone digs in together is great.
“You can see guys like Kenny (Miller) and Josh (Windass) holding the ball up and winning headers which they shouldn’t be winning, so it’s brilliant to come up here and get the win.
“When we went down to ten men Aberdeen were throwing everything forward and even the goalkeeper was forward at one point as well.
“Everyone dug in really well and guys like James Tavernier and Delan John were in there winning headers against guys who are much bigger than them like Adam Rooney.
“When you heard that final whistle you could see from the pitch the way that the fans were reacting and erupting.
“Getting that three points when we were down to ten men is massive and when Josh got that second goal it gave us a little bit of comfort, but not that much when they scored that good free kick, but that’s just football.”
The defender was forced to play with two different partners at centre half against Derek McInnes’ side yesterday as Danny Wilson who he played alongside in the first half, was forced to come off at the break and be replaced by Fabio Cardoso.
That was no problem for Bates however as he’s played with both central defenders last season and this season, as he explained to RangersTV.
He said: “I’ve played with Danny Wilson quite a lot last season before he got injured and I know him well.
“He’s a brilliant centre half positionally and he talks to you through a game as well to give you little pointers.
“I played with Fabio (Cardoso) a lot during pre-season, in a couple of Development Squad games and in the testimonial game at Berwick recently.
“I get on with both of them brilliantly and they are both really good footballers.”
Bates had kind words for interim manager Graeme Murty following the match, saying that every player in the dressing room has been lifted by the gaffer since he took over running of the first team from Pedro Caixinha.
He said: “As soon as he came up to the first team he gave us a real lift and all of the boys are playing for him every week.
“He’s done a brilliant job getting us lifted and obviously the Dundee and Hamiliton games were disappointing, but to get the two wins against Aberdeen is brilliant.”