Captain Joe Lewis insists Aberdeen did not struggle to cope with the absence of home fans against Rangers.
Aberdeen returned to action with a 1-0 loss to the Gers in Scotland’s first competitive game since football at all levels went into lockdown on March 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Rangers dominated possession in the first half and condemned the Dons to a first opening day Premiership defeat since 2014.
The season opener against Rangers at Pittodrie in August 2018 (1-1) drew a near-sell-out crowd of 19,046.
This time there were no supporters, but Lewis insists that was not a factor in losing.
Keeper Lewis also said there was an edge between the sides despite the absence of an atmosphere.
He said: “No supporters is not what we are used to, but it was the same for both teams.
“I feel our lads are used to that now because we already had a couple of pre-season games at Pittodrie.
“It is the same for every Scottish team and it was everyone’s first competitive game at the weekend.
“I don’t think it affected the game too much as there was plenty put in.
“There were plenty of competitive stuff, some good tackles, so I don’t think the play was affected too much.”
That competitive edge so synonymous with this fixture resulted in Aberdeen being reduced to 10 men late on.
Defender Andy Considine received a straight red for a challenge on Scott Arfield.
Both Arfield and Considine went into a 50-50 challenge following a poor touch from the Rangers midfielder.
As a result, left-back Considine will be suspended for Saturday’s Premiership clash at St Johnstone.
There is limited cover at left-back as a proposed deal to land Greg Leigh on a permanent deal this summer following a successful loan from NAC Breda had to be scrapped due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Summer signing Jonny Hayes will likely step in at left-back.
Lewis said: “For the red card when you are stretching like that, it is hard to tackle any other way. If he had gone with his toe he was leaving himself wide open to getting a bad injury.
“There is no malice in it, Andy is not that type of player.
“He won the ball, (but) if his studs were up, I can see why the referee has sent him off.
“When there is no crowd and their players and bench start shouting, it sort of emphasises it a wee bit as well.”
In the opening 20 minutes Rangers had 80% of possession and ultimately made that pay when Ryan Kent scored the first goal in Scotland since the coronavirus shutdown.
Lewis accepts there were aspects Aberdeen must improve ahead of the trip to St Johnstone and insists they will work on that in training this week.
However, the skipper is confident there were positives, particularly in the second-half performance, to build upon.
He said: “We were very disappointed to lose but we have to be encouraged by some of what we saw.
“Ultimately, we lost and have got to look at where we can improve.
“We have a week to get some good training in and make sure we are right for Saturday.”
For all their early possession, Rangers were restricted to few clear-cut chances, with Ash Taylor scrambling a shot from Joe Aribo off the line in injury time.
Lewis said: “In the first half Rangers had the possession.
“However, I had one shot from Hagi to save in the first half down to my left.
“That one real opportunity where we weren’t quite set up right and it ends up taking a little nick on the way through and our lads are going one way and it ends up going through.
“Ash cleared one off the line in the second half, that is when we were committing men forward.
“We had to take a few chances and push men on.
“I felt comfortable during the game and I didn’t feel like we were overly stretched.
“We were generally quite comfortable and in the second half did quite well.”