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Neil Warnock says Aberdeen can compete with Rangers and Celtic and reveals he’s been besieged by Dons fans in Tesco

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NEIL WARNOCK reckons Aberdeen have been closing the gap on the Old Firm in recent years.

Celtic and Rangers have dominated Scottish football for decades, but the veteran gaffer insists they’re no longer “miles ahead” of Aberdeen.

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Neil Warnock is eyeing up silverware this season[/caption]
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Aberdeen fell short against Rangers at Ibrox midweek[/caption]

Warnock, 75, was confirmed as Pittodrie boss this week after he decided to take on the job a week early so he could lead his new team out at Ibrox.

His first match ended in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Philippe Clement‘s men after Rabbi Matondo and Todd Cantwell scored, cancelling out Bojan Miovski’s leveller.

Aberdeen came out on top against the Light Blues in September, while holding Celtic to a 1-1 draw last Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have won two meetings this season – including a 6-0 drubbing in November – and Rangers pipped the Dons to the League Cup trophy in December.

While it hasn’t been perfect for the Dons against the Old Firm this campaign, Warnock is confident the tide has been changing in Scottish football and believes his side can challenge Glasgow‘s big two.

He said: “We’ve seen us play against Celtic and Rangers, both winnable games.

“A few years ago I would say they were miles ahead of us, are you with me? I don’t see that now.

“They’re better than us, but you know, I think with the right attitude and tactical way, you can have a go at them.”

Warnock will meet all his new fans at Pittodrie for the first time tomorrow when they host Bonnyrigg Rose in the Scottish Cup fifth round.

But the manager has already caught up with some the fanbase after he was swarmed in his local Tesco.

Warnock revealed: “I’ve had a couple of days in the job now. They are a good group of lads, the facilities are excellent. I went to Tesco last night and I have never seen so many Aberdeen fans.

“They all welcomed me so it was lovely. I think they all know I am going to try and do the best that I can really. People thought I wouldn’t come up here but it is just a nice challenge if I am honest.

The former Sheffied United, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Huddersfield boss knows anything can happen in a cup tie and won’t let himself get complacent when League Two side Bonnyrigg come to town.

Aberdeen fans still have nightmares of the infamous trip to Darvel, only 13 months ago.

Warnock’s main ambition with Aberdeen is to get his hands on a piece of silverware.

And the Dons can’t afford any slip ups against Robbie Horn’s side.

The Dons boss added: “I have been in Bonnyrigg’s position, you have got nothing to lose.

“When I was at Burton Albion we played Leicester City from the Premier League, with Gary Lineker and all of that lot. The talk around the place was unbelievable.

“I have had a few good cup runs as an underdog and I have had a few as ones that should win it. It will be difficult, there are no easy games when they have come this far in the competition.

“They are well organised, they have some good players and a good following. It will be a typical cup tie. I think cup ties like that are very good.

“I would like to get to a cup final. There is only so much that is left to play for in the season and it has become very important to me.”


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