Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson already scored against Rangers this season – and wants double by netting against Celtic

Bruce Anderson celebrates his goal against Rangers.
Bruce Anderson celebrates his goal against Rangers.

Aberdeen’s rising Pittodrie star Bruce Anderson has already scored against Rangers and would love to complete an Old Firm double by shooting down Celtic today.

The 20-year-old announced his breakthrough into the Dons first team by coming off the bench to net an injury-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw with the Gers in the first Premiership game of the season.

His first senior goal, it is a moment that Pittodrie Youth Academy graduate Anderson insists will live with him for the rest of his life.

However, he is hungry for more goal glory and accepts there is no better stage to add to his tally than against defending Premiership champions Celtic at Parkhead today.

Aberdeen will bid for back- to-back wins at Celtic having triumphed 1-0 in the final league game of the 2017-18 campaign.

He said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better way for the season to start than scoring that goal and it is just down to me now to keep working hard.

“That goal meant everything to me.

“That goal is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

“Hopefully there will be more moments like that in the future.”

The Reds have struggled to net from open play this term.

However, Anderson has been a beacon of light in attack when given the chance this season and rattled the cross-bar when rewarded for that equaliser against Rangers with a start in the next game – a 1-0 victory at Dundee on August 11.

On-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson and Sam Cosgrove have been given the nod to start up front in the last two games against Hibs and Motherwell.

Anderson would love the challenge of starting at Parkhead today but respects the call from manager Derek McInnes if named on the bench again.

He said: “Hopefully I can get more starts but I trust the gaffer and he knows what he is doing with me.

“It is just down to him and whatever he thinks is best for the team and best for me.

“I am happy just to trust him.”

Aberdeen will face a Celtic side suffering an uncharacteristic dip in form with the defending champions having suffered the worst start to a league campaign in 20 years.

Anderson said: “We are all confident that we can get a result at Celtic.

“Everyone has confidence after the cup game against Hibs (6-5 win on penalties) and we are looking forward to it.”

Aberdeen’s victory at Parkhead in last season’s league closer was the first time boss Brendan Rodgers had suffered a domestic home defeat in his two years at the club.

“I was on the bench for the win last season and it was a good experience to be involved,” said Anderson. “Hopefully we can go there again and get another result.

“There is something different about playing the Old Firm and there is a real buzz about it.

“It is a little bit different to a regular game.”

It takes a lot more than raw skill to secure a victory at a sell-out Parkhead. It also takes self-belief and courage.

Anderson, who turned 20 last Sunday, underlined he possesses those qualities in abundance by stepping up to take the fourth spot kick in the 6-5 penalty shoot-out win over Hearts at Easter Road.

That his attempt came directly after Niall McGinn’s effort had been saved to restore parity at 2-2 added extra pressure.

He comfortably stroked it home in front of the Red Army packed into the Easter Road South Stand to give the Dons the edge again.

Anderson said: “I was trying to show the manager I am confident and that if I get a chance I will take it.

“With penalties I am always confident I can score.

“I said to him that I would take a penalty if he put me on.

“Thankfully he put me on and I managed to score it.”

There were shades of Graham Watson at just 19-years-old coming off the bench in extra-time in the Scottish Cup final with Celtic in 1990 – to score a spot-kick for the Dons in a 9-8 penalty shoot-out triumph.

Did Anderson feel any nerves?

“Yes, there were,” he said. “I am not going to lie.

“I have never been in that situation before with the whole atmosphere and it was something different.

“I have never felt that pressure and no matter how much you practice, you can’t replicate that.

“But I had my side picked before I even walked up and it was just about focusing and doing my technique and trying to get it as far into the corner as I could.

“When you pick a side it is important you do not change your mind.

“I tried to keep as cool a head as possible and stick it in the back of the net. Thankfully I did.

“I enjoy scoring penalties as you get a lot of goals from them.

“It was a great feeling when the ball hit the net and then looking up and seeing the fans happy.”