NICKY Devlin has expressed confidence Aberdeen can rise up the cinch Premiership table under new interim manager Neil Warnock if they can replicate their performance against Rangers and add a cutting edge in attack.

The right back and his team mates were disappointed to concede a second half goal to Todd Cantwell and suffer a narrow 2-1 defeat to Philippe Clement’s team in a league game at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

But Warnock, the 75-year-old who replaced Barry Robson until the end of the season the day before, was happy with his new charges’ application in Govan and feels they can improve their results if they are braver in the final third.

Devlin, who is looking forward to the Scottish Cup tie against Bonnyrogg Rose at home on Saturday, is excited at the prospect of working with the legendary Englishman in the remaining months of the 2023/24 campaign and is certain that results will improve with him at the helm.

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“He’s been good,” he said. “We have obviously not been able to work with him too much. He was only in for one day before the game. I think over the coming days and weeks he will maybe get his points across to us a bit more and we will get a bit more time on the training ground with him.

“I think it was probably excitement for most of us to be fair. Everyone knows exactly who he is because he’s had a fantastic career managing down the road. We have got a lot of younger boys in the squad and in terms of experience you don’t get much more experienced than him.

“I am sure there is a lot we can learn off him. We know he is going to be here until the end of the season. The dressing room is in a good place, it is very clear to us he is the manager until the end of the season. That helps us as well.”

Devlin added: Before the match he told us to win, to do whatever it takes to try and win the game. At half-time he told us we need to hang in a little bit. We were obviously coming under pressure in the first half.

“We weren’t too defensive, but we let Rangers come on to us too much. We weren’t competitive enough higher up the pitch to put them under pressure. He wanted a wee bit more of that and I think we did that in the second half and created a bit more. But I am sure in the coming days he will start to get his points across.

“The manager was pleased with aspects of our performance against Rangers – the commitment, desire, all that kind of stuff. But we have got players who can show quality as well. We have got good players in our team. When we win the ball back, especially in forward areas, we need to be better. 

“Probably over the course of the season that is what our problem has been – consistency. We have shown in a lot of games, especially European games, that we can compete really well. But we have come back to league business and not been good enough.

“That has probably been a problem for us all season. But we have a run of home games including the cup game on Saturday and we have to start winning. Hopefully we will do that with Bonyrigg on Saturday.”

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Warnock singled out Bojan Miovski, who equalised against Rangers just before half-time to take his tally for the season to 20, for special praise on Tuesday night and Devlin is optimistic that Aberdeen can do well in the second half of the season if they give the North Macedonian internationalist decent service.

“He is obviously the main man in our team,” he said. “He has thrived off that this season to be honest. I don’t think we really created too much for him against Rangers. He almost found a way himself to score a goal for us and get us back in the game.

“He is massively important for us. I have said before that I think he is the best player in the league in his position. He has been excellent for us. He has scored 20 goals for us already this season. If he can score another 10 I am sure we will probably be in a good place.”