Aberdeen boss Barry Robson says 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt 'gives the players confidence they belong at this level' and takes heart from 'disciplined performance' despite defeat
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Aberdeen boss Barry Robson says 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt 'gives the players confidence they belong at this level' and takes heart from 'disciplined performance' despite defeat

Nov 11, 2023

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson insisted his side’s narrow defeat in Germany will give them belief they can compete at this level after falling agonisingly short in their opening Europa Conference League game.

The Dons went down to a battling loss in Frankfurt despite American midfielder Dante Polvara netting his first goal for the club with a first-half equaliser.

They were outdone by two tame goals after Jack MacKenzie conceded an early penalty and Robin Koch headed in from a corner to give the hosts a win. But Robson saw his men go toe-to-toe with the 2022 Europa League winners and they should have snatched a draw in injury-time when Ester Sokler volleyed wide.

Insisting that their performance last night could be the spark that turns around what has been a poor campaign so far, Robson said: ‘This gives the players confidence they belong at this level.

‘It’s good. We have shown already in three European games we can compete against good teams who are ranked higher than us.

Barry Robson believes that despite losing to Eintracht Frankfurt, his players' performance will give them confidence

Barry Robson believes that despite losing to Eintracht Frankfurt, his players’ performance will give them confidence 

‘We have a history at Aberdeen in Europe and you feel that.

‘I certainly do and the players do as well. We are respectful of wanting that tradition to be there and carry it on.

‘Tonight was a different kind of performance. It was a more disciplined performance and that’s what you need to do.

‘It’s hard to press really high against a team of that quality, but we got our distances right tonight.

‘So I think we will take a lot of positives. We have put on another decent performance here against a top team.

‘I’m proud. When you wear that Aberdeen jersey, you have to show that mentality, desire, fight and tactical knowhow. I thought they all did that in abundance — and in the last ten minutes, we might have nicked a draw.

Dante Polvara grabbed an equaliser for Aberdeen after 22 minutes but they ultimately lost due to two tame goals

Dante Polvara grabbed an equaliser for Aberdeen after 22 minutes but they ultimately lost due to two tame goals

‘It’s frustrating to lose it on a set- play. It’s disappointing to come over here and for that to happen.

‘If they undo you with a brilliant bit of play and someone puts one in the top corner then fair enough. But to be beaten by a set-play is really frustrating.’

Polvara, who just signed a new three-year deal last week, admitted it was a bittersweet moment for him after his first goal for the club counted for nothing.

He said: ‘It has got to be my biggest goal in my career. I know I haven’t scored a lot but it has to be up there.

‘Yet we have come away with nothing and that is the main issue.

‘We need points and to put in so much effort and come away with nothing is disappointing. ’

Aberdeen said they would cooperate with UEFA and authorities after a pyrotechnic flare was thrown in their end

Aberdeen said they would cooperate with UEFA and authorities after a pyrotechnic flare was thrown in their end

Eintracht Frankfurt manager Dino Toppmoller said: ‘Were Aberdeen more difficult than we expected? No, we knew they would play like this and defend deep. But, at the end of the day, we won the game, so it’s good.’

Meanwhile, Dons officials admitted they were disappointed after their fans threw a pyrotechnic flare into the away end during the first half.

A statement from the Pittodrie club said: ‘The club is deeply disappointed by the actions of a small minority of supporters which threatens to tarnish the good reputation of Aberdeen FC and the vast majority of Dons supporters.

‘The club will fully cooperate with UEFA and the relevant authorities during the course of any investigations.’

Frankfurt police stated: ‘During the first half of the game, one of the away fans threw a burning pyrotechnic object into the neighbouring home fan block. Fortunately, no one was injured.

‘We caught the crime on video and arrested the suspect.’

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