Aberdeen's future is 'bright', says manager Craig Brown

Craig Brown assesses the damage to Rob Milsom's leg
Craig Brown assesses the damage to Rob Milsom's leg

Aberdeen's prospects this season give manager Craig Brown grounds for optimism, despite consecutive narrow defeats by Celtic and Rangers.

The Dons went down 2-1 at Celtic Park six days ago and on Saturday lost by the same score to league leaders Rangers in a tousy match at Pittodrie.

"We were two down to Rangers, we fought back; we were one down to Celtic, we fought back," Brown told BBC Scotland.

"There is no question of this team giving in. The future is bright."

Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor looked to have Ricky Foster's blast from outside the box covered, yet the ball flew into the net to set up a tense last eight minutes.

That halved the deficit that had been created earlier in the second half by Kyle Lafferty's sweet finish from a Steven Davis pass and by Nikica Jelavic's penalty kick.

"I think the better team won the game," said Brown.

"Having said that, our goalkeeper had one save in the match. I do feel the breaks went Rangers' way, in terms of the penalty kick, the ordering-off.

"But, over the piece, they were marginally better than Aberdeen.

"There is fight in the team, there is a determination to do better.

"Now that we are not playing the Old Firm, we've got a chance to play against teams in the same bracket as ourselves."

After a fairly even first half, Rangers stepped up a gear as they looked to win their seventh win in a row on their travels.

However, the match was marred by injuries to Rob Milsom and Steven Naismith, when the Rangers forward caught his opponent with his studs and injured his own knee in the process.

"We ended the game positively, we had them on the back foot trying to get the equaliser," continued Brown.

"The first one was a soft goal from our point of view and the penalty was rashly conceded, a tackle from behind from Darren Mackie.

"We had a forward player in a defensive situation and it was a bit of a clumsy one, but some referees might not have given it, because he got the ball first.

"But he certainly tackled from behind."

Milsom's injury, with Scott Vernon also struggling and on the bench, means Aberdeen's squad is being stretched.

"He's got a horrible gash down his leg and a swollen ankle - it's a very bad injury," said his manager.

"To start the game without Vernon and to lose Milsom early and to be without Ryan Jack through suspension, our resources are getting a bit depleted; we haven't a big squad."

A late blow for the Dons was a red card for New Zealand striker Rory Fallon, who was judged by referee Willie Collum to have intentionally elbowed Rangers centre-half Dorin Goian.

Brown lamented: "Now we will lose Fallon for the next game at least.

"I felt he didn't take his eye off the ball at any time. He didn't deliberately elbow the opponent."