Keeper Joe Lewis today claimed the Dons medical team are so good he never had any doubt he would go from his Ibrox horror in January to Ibrox ecstasy earlier this week.
Keeper Lewis played a pivotal role with a string of key saves in the 1-0 away defeat of Rangers that re-invigorated Aberdeen’s stuttering Premiership campaign.
Trooping off Ibrox to a standing ovation from the jubilant Dons fans was in stark contrast to Lewis’ last time in Govan, when he was stretchered off having suffered a serious knee injury during a 2-0 loss to Rangers in January.
Lewis, 31, had to undergo surgery on knee cartilage damage and was ruled out for more than two months. He returned in April to play his part in securing a Premiership runners-up finish ahead of Gers last season.
He said: “If you get injured, no matter how serious it is, you know you are in the best possible hands at Aberdeen.
“The physio department we have here is as good as I have ever experienced. You will see that with Mark Reynolds, who is flying at the minute. He picked up an injury (knee ligament) that would normally keep you out for nine months to a year.
“Now he is running and coming on so well. The way they do things here is brilliant.
“I am confident if I ever get any niggles or injuries I will come back full strength. If you get injured, no matter how serious it is, you know you are in good hands.”
Aberdeen slashed the points gap on Rangers to just six points but hold a game in hand. Victory at Ibrox elevated the Reds back into the Premiership top six and Lewis aims to continue that momentum against St Johnstone today.
He said: “Winning at Ibrox was a great result as they had been strong at home all season.
“To get three points there was very pleasing. We put in a strong, resilient performance and showed a lot of character to bounce back from the cup final. It was also a good performance in the final against Celtic, but there was the disappointment of losing (1-0).
“We were confident going to Ibrox and delivered the same hunger and desire to win the game.
“That was coupled with the quality we have. We have done well against Rangers this season who are obviously a good team.
“We have shown great desire to dig in and get some positive results against them.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes has called for the use of Video Assisted Referee (VAR) to be introduced following recent controversial decisions. One was the award of a penalty for hand-ball in the final loss to Celtic, even though the ball struck Dom Ball’s hand outside the box.
Lewis stopped a bad decision becoming more damaging by brilliantly saving Scott Sinclair’s penalty.
He said: “That (save) kept us in the game for longer. At 2-0 the game might have been dead, but as long as it is 1-0 you are still in it.”
Does Lewis study opponents previous penalty kicks prior to games?
“You can do, look at where players have gone,” he said.
“However that is not to say they are going to go that way again. Some players will know you are doing that and change which way they are going.
“I just go on gut instinct as well as trying to remember what I have looked at in terms of previous penalties, to piece it together. It is a bit of a lottery. But when you go you have to do it with confidence and conviction. Hopefully you go the right way and can get something on it.”
Lewis hopes to secure a clean sheet against in form St Johnstone today but expects a tough test.
He said: “We have to treat this game as importantly as the previous two against Celtic and Rangers.”