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Robson discovered his winning mentality during life in the goldfish bowl at Celtic

If Barry Robson learned anything from his time as a dynamic presence in Celtic's midfield it was that the loss of points to opposing sides was never accepted until the final whistle blew.

RIGHT MINDSET: Barry Robson
RIGHT MINDSET: Barry Robson

Derek McInnes is also a believer in that ethic and has drummed it into his Aberdeen side; it is a policy that has come to fruition in the shape of a catalogue of late goals scored this season turning otherwise lost causes into positive outcomes.

Robson, now coming into his own at Pittodrie following knee surgery that kept him on the sidelines for several weeks, had honed that mindset during a spell at Celtic Park when he emerged as an important figure in Gordon Strachan's title-winning side of 2007/2008.

"If you look at successful clubs through the years they keep going to the very end and they have this winning mentality," said as Aberdeen prepared to host Hibs at Pittodrie in tonight's SPFL Premiership game.

"That's what the manager is trying to install here. You can see it in the players; we are never going to stop or let our heads go down. You might not be having the best of days but you dig in and help your team-mate alongside you. It's amazing how many points you can pick up that way."

Robson, reaching the veteran stage of his career, pointed to McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty, as key motivators for a side that is ready to embrace the second half of the season with gusto. The 35-year-old Robson is all too aware that it's frequently in tough conditions when a greater sense of purpose is required. The goldfish bowl of life at a big merely intensifies that feeling.

"It comes from the manager and coaching staff through the week and on match-days," he insisted. "If you are losing you need to tell folk to keep it going. When you are at a big club the fans expect it from you. It's a mentality thing but the manager can put it right through a club if everyone buys into it. I saw it at Celtic. If you are a goal down with five minutes to go, the punters are on to you, urging you to get that goal.

"It's the same if it's 0-0 or 1-1; they want you to win. You know if you get one you might get two and you always believe you can turn it round.In years gone by, Manchester United were great at it. They kept going to the very end and got their rewards."

Robson recognises, however, that the team's older players need more spritely colleagues around them to maintain their indefatigable approach to 90 minutes of football.

"The manager has got a strong squad here with a lot of talented youths with enthusiasm and pace plus a few older boys who are still capable of getting about," added Robson. "Sometimes you get older guys like myself and Russell [Anderson] who need players round about them but we can still get cover the ground, even at our age. When you've got these lads with pace as well, though, it makes it so much easier."

Although Terry Butcher's reign as the manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle came after Robson had left for Dundee United, he appreciates the impact the Englishman has had since taking over at Easter Road and expects a well-organised Hibernian to be difficult opponents for his side tonight and for others during the remainder of the campaign.

"You always get a reaction when a new manager comes in," he said. "It is not always sustainable but it looks as though it is this time. Terry has really galvanised them and he has got them playing differently than before. We know we need to be at our best to get the points against a Hibs side that is playing well."

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