DAVID BATES was delighted he could mark his return to the Rangers starting line-up with victory over Aberdeen on Sunday.

The defender made his first league start of the campaign at Pittodrie as Graeme Murty’s side earned a deserved 2-1 win.

Bates hadn’t pulled on a Light Blues jersey since the Europa League defeat to Progres Niederkorn back in July as he spent ten weeks out of action through injury.

But he played a key role against the Dons as goals from Danny Wilson and Josh Windass, either side of Ryan Jack’s red card, clinched three crucial Premiership points.

“Yes, it’s obviously been tough,” Bates told RangersTV.

“I was out right at the start of the season for about ten weeks and getting back to fitness and sharpness and to come straight back into a big game like this and win three points at Aberdeen to go above them is great.

“The display that the boys put in is great, especially when we go down to ten men is immense. You can see the togetherness and the way that everyone digs in together is great.

“You can see guys like Kenny (Miller) and Josh holding the ball up and winning headers which they shouldn’t be winning, so it’s brilliant to come up here and get the win.

“When we went down to ten men Aberdeen were throwing everything forward and even the goalkeeper was forward at one point as well.

“Everyone dug in really well and guys like James Tavernier and Declan John were in there winning headers against guys who are much bigger than them like Adam Rooney.

“When you heard that final whistle you could see from the pitch the way that the fans were reacting and erupting.

“Getting that three points when we were down to ten men is massive and when Josh got that second goal it gave us a little bit of comfort, but not that much when they scored that good free kick, but that’s just football.”