Ash Taylor bent on giving as good he gets in battle with Alfredo Morelos

Ash Taylor is ready for another battle with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos
Ash Taylor is ready for another battle with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos (PA Archive)
10:00am, Fri 20 Nov 2020
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Ash Taylor insists he is ready to take on the Scott McKenna role if Alfredo Morelos decides to get physical with Aberdeen at Ibrox.

Former Dons defender McKenna enjoyed several scrapes with Rangers’ Colombian hitman before winning a move to Nottingham Forest earlier this season.

The pair famously clashed in a Premiership curtain-raiser two years ago, with the Rangers striker receiving a red card after kicking out at his Reds foe.

That dismissal was later overturned on appeal but both men found themselves heading for an early bath again after another ugly collision in their next Pittodrie clash a few months later.

But even when he is staying out of trouble, Morelos loves nothing better than going head-to-head with his direct opponents in a physical tussle.

And with McKenna now plying his trade south of the border at the City Ground, Taylor says he is ready to step into the breach as he vowed to get to grips with Morelos when Aberdeen visit Govan on Sunday.

“I enjoy those kind of battles,” said the English centre-back. “We defenders love that physical side of the game and I certainly do being a big lad myself.

“So I’ll give as good as I get, if not more.

“There are different challenges depending on the striker you’re up against. I have a bit more experience now so I know how to adjust my game depending on who I play against.”

However, Taylor might not get much of a chance to have a wrestle with the Light Blues frontman if Morelos continues his recent ploy of dropping deep looking to link up with Steven Gerrard’s midfield.

That tactic was key when Rangers kicked off the season with a victory at Pittodrie back in August. Morelos peeled away from his marker before turning to slot through the on-rushing Ryan Kent to slot home the only goal.

That was the only time Taylor felt his side switched off on the opening day but he admits they will have to do a lot more in the Gers half if they are to hand Gerrard’s unbeaten side their first bloody nose of the campaign.

“I’m not entirely sure how Morelos will play this weekend,” he said. “When we played Rangers at the start of the season, he was dropping a little bit deeper, which allowed other runners to go on ahead.

“It was hard to get up against him at those times because you don’t want to go into those areas as a defender.

“You’ve just got to communicate and make sure everyone ahead of you is switched on ready to nullify that.

“But I have noticed a difference in Morelos’ game and he is dropping a little bit deeper this season. I’m not sure if that’s something that’s been asked of him or a change he wants to make himself.

“The first game was disappointing and doesn’t really reflect how we’ve been playing this season.

“Defensively we were good but that little bit of keeping the ball and getting into the final third was disappointing.

“But we’ve picked up since then, we’ve looked more of a threat and we’ll look to take that into Sunday’s game.”

Rangers are flying high at the top of the table but Derek McInnes’ team have been on a decent run themselves, going unbeaten since their shock defeat to Motherwell back in September.

Taylor added: “It’s going to be a tough challenge against Rangers, it always is, especially away from home.

“But we’re Aberdeen Football Club, we’re a big club ourselves, and we’ve got a squad that’s capable of winning down there like we have done previously. We need to go with the confidence and positive mindset we’ve shown in recent games and look to take the three points.”

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