Date: 20th December 2006 at 6:38am
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There would have been a serious problem had it not been and Stewart Milne, Jimmy Calderwood and Willie Miller would have been asking what on earth they have to do but Saturday`s home match against third placed Rangers is a total sell-out.

In the most exciting, important and illustrious game Aberdeen will have played in for years, the Dons fans are perhaps finally willing to believe that something special is again happening at the club and have responded by selling Pittodrie out for the first time in a competitive match in a decade.

Jimmy Calderwood said ‘It’s fantastic that the game is sold out on Saturday. We now need to put on a good performance to make sure the fans come every week. It is such a special game for fans and we all feel the same way as we want to win and keep hold of second spot.

I feel there is now a resilience in our team which when combined with the other qualities we have is a great mix. Our home games are so important and as always I am sure our fans will get right behind us this Saturday.

At present it is only Byrne who is out for Saturday’s game. Hopefully we won’t pick up any injuries this week as it allows us to pick a very strong team and bench.’

With emotions certain to be high and given the rivalry and history between the clubs, Aberdeen have draughted in extra stewards for the match but police levels will remain the same. The stewards have been employed to try and quell both sets of fans singing offensive songs and the home fans have been warned by Aberdeen FC operations manager John Morgan that they will face instant arrest if they are caught singing songs that celebrate the deaths of 66 Rangers fans who lost their lives in the Ibrox disaster.

Morgan said ‘We want the fans to be vocal and get behind their team without any of the nonsense songs.

Songs about the Ibrox disaster are inappropriate.

If you sing about a tragedy where people lost relatives you should be arrested.

There are morons on both sides and we are trying our best to eradicate the problem. Hopefully, the new legislation will help us do this and I’m waiting for the SFA to tell us what it entails.

But I have no doubt that songs of this nature will be regarded as an offence.

In the past four years behaviour at this fixture has improved because the police have been pro-active in nipping trouble in the bud and that will continue to happen. With such a big, important game I just hope everyone comes to enjoy it as is the case with the vast majority.’

With so much at stake and in a bid to make people realize his team are the real deal who are capable of competing against Rangers, Celtic and Hearts, Dons boss Calderwood will be relieved and ecstatic that the city has once again responded to the team but he wants the fans to show it in the right way.

‘I always hope it’s only about football and history shows there have been a lot of great games between the clubs down the years.

I know the other stuff that people talk about connected with this fixture but those things have gone years and years ago so let’s concentrate on sporting matters.

We want these games to be remembered as being great football matches and not for the nonsense that happened in the past.

We should be looking forward rather than back and you even see that Rangers and Celtic games don’t appear to be as bad as they used to.

Of course we want all the atmosphere in the world with people shouting and winding up the opposition but only with good humour. We can do without the nasty stuff.

Our fans were brilliant last weekend in the way they wound up the Hearts supporters. It was done in a funny way and that’s how it should always be.

We are desperate to deliver a victory to make it a special Christmas for our support but I want a very sporting victory without reference to other stuff that might have happened years ago. I urge them to go about things the right way.

We can win without the other nonsense that surrounds games with Rangers.

It’s up to us to provide the win needed. That won’t be easy but I can guarantee that it won’t be easy for Rangers either.’