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Motherwell Preview | Derek McInnes

March 9, 2017 6:03 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

“You are always disappointed when you see players leave that you want to keep. Peter is the first player that we have really wanted to keep but has chosen to go elsewhere. We respect Peter’s decision. We tried hard to keep him. We tried to demonstrate how keen we were to keep working with him but ultimately, he has decided to go down south and join MK Dons. We respect that.

“It is quite common for players to sign pre-contracts now. We did it with Graeme Shinnie and when Graeme was playing against us it did not look as if he was holding back! I know everyone is different but I would like to think players will continue and want to give everything they have got for the club. I am sure Peter will want to leave here on as high a note as possible. Sometimes it is important how you finish your time at a club. People remember that. So any players in that situation, on pre-contract, they have got an obligation to keep going.

“Peter has served the club well. We wanted to keep working with him. We offered him a two year deal and a testimonial. I feel we have pulled out all the stops to keep him but his desire to play in England won it for them. We are disappointed but there is still a lot to play for and Peter is a part of that.

“We want Peter to help us achieve what we want to achieve; which is to win league games and try and finish second. And try and win cup games to win a Scottish Cup.

“Peter has been a big part in turning the club’s fortunes around. He has had a lot of good performances and hopefully he has still got some big games to come for us.

“Talks are ongoing with the other players. Each case is different. I totally respect the fact the players are in no rush but at the same time we have to work ahead of ourselves to get players in for next season. Our work can’t stop. Our work is ongoing. We will try and get players in and agree things ourselves. That might mean we move on from players (who have been offered deals). But I am relaxed about it. We would rather they signed and we have spoken to all of them. You have seen the performances recently from McGinn, Taylor and Ryan Jack. The three of them have been terrific. Hopefully we can get some clarity over what is happening during the next couple of weeks.

“Ryan Jack trained this morning. It was a bit of a bonus as we were not sure he was going to be ok but the damage to the ligament was not as bad as we first thought. The physio’s have done a great job and Ryan trained very well and he comes back into contention for Saturday.

“Mark Reynolds is injured and we will be without him for a month. He will go for surgery next week on a hernia. And Andrew Considine is suspended for the game. O’Connor comes into contention with Mark and Andy out and he has been waiting patiently for his chance. He has shown how good a player he is for us during his time here and he will be eager to come in.

“I am looking forward to the game. We have been very good at home recently. I think it is a real opportunity to get another win. No two games are the same. It is a danger if people just expect us to win. Because we won the last game 7-2 does not mean this game is going to be anything like that. I think Motherwell will have a different team and a different shape. We are going to have to work hard. They will have looked at areas that they can improve. They had a positive result last week and they will come up here with a game plan.

“From the last game against them, we will though look for the same quality and determination from the players that we had that night. Our attacking play was obviously really good but our work rate and our energy and not letting Motherwell settle was pleasing.

“I have been really pleased with the flexibility of the team recently. The last couple of games we have played against teams with a back three. I thought tactically we got it spot on against Hamilton even although we did not score. I thought against Thistle last week we played in a certain way to carry an attacking threat. It shows the flexibility is good within the squad, within the team and within personnel. Ultimately it is all about the result and we are keen to pick up the three points.

“I think the Motherwell players will be doing all they can to get a result, regardless of who is in charge. It is clear that Steve is popular with the players. I was disappointed for Mark to lose his job. I said that a couple of weeks ago. The game is about the players and I am sure they will come up here eager to makes amends for what happened last time. We have to expect a tough match and will have to fight for everything we get.”
 

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Another late show from Aberdeen : Live

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Another late show from Aberdeen

March 11, 2017 6:54 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes was forced into making a number of defensive changes as Mark Reynolds and Andrew Considine were kept out of the side through injury and suspension respectively. Anthony O'Connor was handed a start and captain Ryan Jack reappeared. Jayden Stockley kept his place in the starting XI after an impressive game in the cup last week. The Dons had six attacking players on the bench.

It was a famous night at Pittodrie the last time Motherwell visited. A 7-2 victory for the Dons was arguably the best performance of the season but even early on you could tell there was going to be no comfortable win this afternoon. Motherwell looked well up for this and caused some problems. The only 20 minutes were very even.
Kenny McLean's been in fine form this season and was spreading the ball around nicely in the opening stages. He delivered a great ball into the box from the right. His early cross was met by Rooney who got a firm head on the ball but couldn't get it on target.

The Dons had a good chance to take the lead after 17 minutes when McGinn caught Jules napping on the ball. Rooney came away as McGinn peeled away but Rooney had a shot and couldn't get the connection he wanted on his effort from outside the box. It was great play from Niall who looked disappointed not to have been slipped through on goal.

The Steelmen looked far more organised than their last trip up to the North East, and could have gone in front when Ben Heneghan got above Ash Taylor from a free kick. His header hit the side netting. After 25 minutes it was looking like the Dons were going to have to battle it out if they were going to come away with all 3 points. The game became very stop start and there were a lot of fouls in the middle of the park. Motherwell were going a very good job at breaking the game up.

The Dons did finally have a spell of decent pressure towards the end of the half.

Craig Samson was forced into making his first save of the game when Niall McGinn picked the ball up when Kenny McLean appeared to be fouled at the edge of the box. Nothing was given, so the Dons played on. The cross came into the box for Rooney to flick on. The goalkeeper had to be alert as he tipped the ball over the bar. Then a Kenny McLean strike from outside the box kept Craig Samson working hard, as the visitors looked to see the half out at 0-0. Kenny's effort was well struck but straight at the keeper.

It was scoreless at the break after an even 45 minutes of football.

HT Aberdeen 0-0 Motherwell

After the restart it still wasn't happening for the Dons who were struggling to break the visitors down. Any time they went long Stockley was extremely well marshalled whilst Hayes and McGinn were struggling to run with the ball because of the conditions.

Ash Taylor had a go from an advanced position curling a shot just wide of the post after a couple of corner had been cleared. Jonny Hayes then had a couple of bursting runs forward but the ball was bobbling about and Motherwell were defending robustly.

Kenny McLean was the main source of inspiration for Aberdeen, he was outstanding this afternoon, and on the hour mark he whipped a tempting ball across at pace. Stockley was lurking at the back post but he couldn't quite connect with it. After the hour mark, Ryan Jack had a header which roll just past the post after a Niall McGinn cross. It was the type of chance the Dons would need to take if they were to make the break through.

The best chance of the game came after 66 minutes when McLean picked out Graeme Shinnie at the back post from a central position. Unfortunately Shinnie got too much power on the shot which sent it over the bar. It looked like a great chance but it was not easy for Shinnie to steer the ball towards goal.

The ball was following to midfielders and not strikers inside the area.

Unlike the first half Motherwell had offered little in attack in the second period but won a corner in the 70th minute and were a whisker away from sneaking it into the net. It was cleared away by O'Connor who hooked the ball off the line. This then opening up a great counter attacking chance. McGinn played a superb pass before bombing forward as Hayes took the ball for a run. The through ball was good, but Samson times his dash out perfectly and managed to get to the ball just ahead of McGinn. It was very good goalkeeping from Samson who had a fine game.

After 73 minutes, top scorer Adam Rooney came off for Ryan Christie. He made an instant impact opening up the Motherwell defence, creating chances for McGinn and McLean who had low shots. Both efforts were well saved by Craig Samson again.

It was all hands to the pump for the last 10 minutes as Miles Storey came on for Anthony O'Connor. Anthony had been solid at the back but the Dons were going for the win.

Motherwell's defence was beginning to look like something you would see in rugby as they threw themselves at everything. It was making life difficult for the Dons forwards and causing frustration throughout Pittodrie. The visitors were also taking every opportunity to slow the game down when they could. This added to the frustration even although they had a couple of players booked for time wasting.

Five minutes of injury time was added on to the match, about right – wasn't a surprise given how stop start the game had been.

Jonny Hayes had been having one of his toughest battles on the left wing in a long time. He had been in the wars on a number of occasions. In the 92 minute McLean sprayed one final cross-field pass which allowed Hayes to attack his left wing. Jonny swung in a low cross, into a good area, and finally the ball landed at the feet of an Aberdeen striker inside the area. Hayes picked out Niall McGinn in the crowded penalty box. Niall calmly directed a first time shot into the right corner of the net. Pittodrie erupted!!

Motherwell looked totally deflated, after 90 minutes of solid defending and giving everything, it looked like they would be walking away empty handed.

The Dons went straight for the corner after the restart, and kept it there for the remaining minutes of the game and saw it out comfortably. It was a great result given how tough a match it had been. Aberdeen once again sit nine points in front of Rangers in second place.
 

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