Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has praised 17-year-old Dean Campbell’s performance against Rangers in last night’s 2-0 win – and thinks it will make the teen more “battle-hardened.”

Campbell made his first senior start in the quarter-final replay at Ibrox and impressed as the Dons booked a Hampden clash with Celtic next month.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 22: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Hearts at Pittodrie Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

McInnes was impressed with how Campbell defended against the Gers and how he used the ball when in possession – and thinks he will have “learned a lot.”

“Dean did well and he is a very mature player for a young boy,” McInnes told the Evening Express.

“He is only 17 but will have learned a lot from tonight. He’s a technical player who likes to get his foot on the ball.

May 12th 2017, Pittodrie, Aberdeen, Scotland; SPL Premier league football Aberdeen versus Celtic; Dean Campbell made his debut tonight for Aberdeen at the age of 16

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“I thought it was more about defending well and being smart and if he was going to take a booking he took it in the right area of the pitch before we took him off.

“All that is harnessing experience and makes them more battle-hardened.”

McInnes side have now won against Gerrard’s side three times this season in Glasgow – and beat them in all three competitions in the same season for the first time ever.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 28: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes reacts on the touchline during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Hapden Park on October 28, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Dons are eight points behind Rangers in the league table and face Livingston at Pittodrie this weekend in the final game before the international break.

Campbell had made four appearances from the bench this season after making his debut last season.

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