Aberdeen defender Ross McCrorie insists he is not a rookie centre-back and is comfortable in the role.
The 23-year-old has been utilised in that position this season having primarily featured at right-back and in midfield during the previous campaign.
Struggling Aberdeen have failed to register a clean sheet in 11 games and are now eight matches without victory.
It is the worst run of form by an Aberdeen team since January to March 2010.
The Dons have registered just one clean sheet in 14 competitive games this season – the 2-0 defeat of Dundee United in the Premiership opening game on August 1.
McCrorie insists he has not been thrown into the unknown this season at centre-back as he played in that position with former club Rangers.
McCrorie said: “Centre-back is not an unknown position for me, I played there at Rangers when I first broke into the team.
“So it’s not entirely new.
“I’ve played a lot of games so far this season and I feel very comfortable there.”
Tipped for the top as a centre-back
McCrorie was handed his first team debut for Rangers in the centre-back role when replacing Portuguese international Bruno Alves, a Euro 2016 winner, in a Betfred Cup quarter-final defeat of Partick Thistle in September 2017.
Then Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha would predict soon after that debut that McCrorie would go on to become of Scotland’s greatest ever central defenders, saying: “Ross McCrorie is going to be one of the best centre halves in history, not just for this club but for this country.”
McCrorie played at centre-back under Caixinha and his replacement Graeme Murty before current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard moved him into a holding midfield role.
Reunited with ex team-mate David Bates
Aberdeen are leaking goals despite the capture of two Scotland international centre-backs by Stephen Glass during the summer transfer window.
Declan Gallagher, 30, has been capped eight times and was an unused substitute in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad at the Euro 2020 finals.
Glass also secured David Bates on a three year contract from German Bundesliga side SV Hamburg in the final week of the summer transfer window.
Bates, 24, has been capped four times by his country.
McCrorie played alongside Bates at Rangers and has rekindled that partnership when both started as the centre-back pairing in the last two games against St Mirren and St Johnstone (1-0 defeat).
He said: “I was with Batesy at Rangers in the youth team and the first team.
“He’s a great player, he’s solid and dependable. He’s also very switched on tactically.
“He’s obviously got that wee bit of pace for balls in behind.
“Batesy will be a great addition to the team.
“I know him really well and I had a good understanding with him.”
Aberdeen will stick with the ‘high line’
Aberdeen have conceded 21 goals in 14 games in all competitions this season.
It has been suggested a mitigating factor could be the high starting point of full-backs Calvin Ramsay and Jack MacKenzie in utilising Glass’ attacking set-up.
An unwanted byproduct is that high position could open up space behind them and leave the centre-backs more exposed and with more ground to cover.
McCrorie insists Aberdeen intend to stick with that high line – and is confident that philosophy will pay off if the Reds can eradicate individual, costly errors.
He said: “That’s just the way we want to play.
“It’s very good on the eye, we are a very attacking team.
“The manager wants us to play a high line.
“I quite enjoy it, I like the style of play we’ve been playing.
“It’s just the small details we need to tidy up with the attack and defence.
“Hopefully things can start happening again and we start accumulating points.”
High stakes for Aberdeen and Celtic
Aberdeen will bid to end their run without victory when hosting Celtic at Pittodrie on Sunday.
Dethroned champions Celtic are also struggling and have stuttered to their worst league start in 23 years.
It is now seven months since Celtic last won away from home domestically.
Sunday’s match will mark the first time Aberdeen captain Scott Brown will face his former club since joining the Dons this summer on a two year deal.
Celtic were desperate to retain the 36-year-old who had won 21 trophies during his time at Parkhead and led the club to nine-in-a-row and an historic quadruple treble.
With both sides desperate for victory, with defeat not an option for either, McCrorie insists Brown will be pivotal on Sunday for the Reds.
McCrorie said: “Broony’s been a big character since he came in.
“I played against him through the years also and he’s a top player.
“When you get to see him close up, you realise his abilities and leadership skills as well.
“I get on really well with him. All the boys do, he’s a really big character in the changing room and a leader as well.
“He brings a lot of qualities to our team and he’s a top, top player.”