Date: 16th March 2007 at 12:14am
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Jamie Smith believes that one of the worst results in Aberdeen�s history has been the spur that has driven them to the brink of European qualification.

Smith said: ‘The players and management were all gutted about the Queen’s Park result because it was a major slip up.�We were all very upset and quickly discovered how a result like that can bring you crashing back down to earth.

‘After that game we knew we had to bounce back and now Aberdeen have a real unity and team-spirit in the squad.

‘This club will not lie down to anyone, no matter how tough the game.

‘That was shown in a very physical match against Hearts where we rose to the challenge.’

Smith is only too aware that it�s been 16 years since the Dons last won in Govan and he�s bursting to change that with a positive result this weekend.

‘The long gap between Aberdeen’s last win at Ibrox always pops up when we get ready to go down there,’ he said.

‘This is a massive game for us and the outcome will possibly determine where we finish in the league this season.

‘But we are going to Ibrox determined to get three points and we want to put them on the backfoot right from the start.

‘It will be tough because Rangers have a lot more fight about them now and are playing well under Walter Smith.

‘They have a strong team spirit but if we can play to our capabilities we can certainly match them.’

Smith is one of the few Dons to have European experience and he wants a return to that stage.

‘I experienced first hand with Celtic just how big a platform European football really is,’ he said.

‘If we could secure a Euro spot it would give the club, fans and the whole city a massive boost.

‘Aberdeen is the third city in Scotland and we should be in Europe every season.

‘There is a still a long way to go for this club and a lot can happen, especially when the league splits.’

Jamie returned two weeks ago and played a part in the Falkirk, Hearts and Motherwell victories but he knows he�s not yet back to his best after surgery.

‘There was a little bit of pain and I still feel a little tired after the games as I am still not fully match sharp,’ he said.

‘Over the next couple of games I will get that back just in time for the league run in. Hopefully the worst is over.

‘Hearts was a tough game, which was shown with the injuries to Chris Clark who took a bad head knock, Barry Nicholson received a broken shoulder and Richard Foster broke his nose but I came through it.’

Is that fighting talk Jamie?