Soccer

I owed it to the fans – Jack McKenzie relieved after clinching goal

Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie scores their side’s third goal against Rangers (Jane Barlow/PA)
Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie scores their side’s third goal against Rangers (Jane Barlow/PA) Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie scores their side’s third goal against Rangers (Jane Barlow/PA)

Jack MacKenzie put his clinching goal in Aberdeen’s stunning 3-1 win at Ibrox on Saturday down to payback for his European error in Germany.

The 23-year-old Dons defender made sure of the three cinch Premiership points against Rangers on Saturday with a drive in the 86th minute which sent the travelling Red Army into raptures.

The Pittodrie side led with goals from centre-back Stefan Gartenmann and midfielder Jamie McGrath before Abdallah Sima reduced the deficit after Gers half-time substitute Scott Wright was sent off for picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Gartenmann.

It was a first start for MacKenzie since conceding an early penalty in the 2-1 Europa Conference League defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany and he was delighted to make such a telling contribution in Govan.

He told RedTV: “Looking last week at Frankfurt, and I switched off for one second and you get punished. It’s a penalty and we are 1-0 down in eight minutes.

“So I felt I kind of let the boys and supporters down a wee bit.

“When I found that I was playing (against Rangers) I needed to owe them something.

“I didn’t think I was going to score in a 3-1 win, mind you, but I just felt I couldn’t let anything down my side and defend against a really good player in James Tavernier for the whole game.

“I need to be on it and thankfully I was but the whole back five was outstanding and they have been for the last couple of games.

“I’ve been at the club since I’m nine years old so I know that these victories just don’t come around often. So to get a convincing win is really pleasing for everyone.

Aberdeen celebrate in front of their fans after Jack MacKenzie's goal against Rangers
Aberdeen celebrate in front of their fans after Jack MacKenzie's goal against Rangers Jack MacKenzie and Aberdeen celebrate their clinching goal at Ibrox (Jane Barlow/PA)

“It was probably relief because when we went 2-0 up and they went down to 10 men, you felt as though the game was there for us and then to concede the goal, it was, ‘here we go’.

“So to get the third goal and get that two-goal lead restored was just a big relief, to be honest.”

After three wins in a row, Barry Robson’s side turn their attention back to Europe and the Europa Conference League game against HJK Helsinki at Pittodrie on Thursday night.

MacKenzie said: “Obviously we know the situation in the group so we know we need a positive result at home.

“The boys will be feeling confident but we won’t be complacent at all.”