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Kilmarnock v Aberdeen preview

September 29, 2016 5:09 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes pre match quotes:

“Every week there is always a different challenge.

“We have overcome three games and all three presented different changes. We now move onto the next one. We want to build up a bit of momentum.

“We are away from home again against a Kilmarnock team which is much changed from Kilmarnock teams of the past. Lee has got them organised and wants to play in a certain way. They are hard working, play at a high tempo, they press you hard and you have to fight for every inch on the pitch. They look fit and athletic and they look like they have some goals in them.

“It has always taken a good performance to get a win down there and it will take the same on Saturday. Because we have won our last three matches does not make this one any easier. It will be a tough game but it is one we go there to win.

“We have our work cut out but we have a decent record down there.

“October will be a big month but it is the same as every other month at this club. We started back playing in June and since them there is an importance in every game that we play. Going into a semi-final you want to be in good form and the way we have managed to get some wins and get a run going is pleasing but every challenge is still ahead of us.

“We have rotated the side during the thee game week. We have used a lot of the squad. I think we have good options at the back, good options at the top end of the pitch and in the wider areas. So we have picked different players for different games and have tried to get the players enough game time. I think that will be the case throughout the season when the game come think and fast. We have almost had a full working week going into this one to prepare but it is still important I use the full squad.  

“One thing the players have shown over the past few seasons is a real ability to focus on the next game, whether we are favourites or whether we are underdogs for a game, we always go with the intension to try and win the game. Different games offer different challenges and different atmospheres. That is something the team have done well, they have focussed on each and every three points regardless of what happened the game before. It is the same three points we won on Sunday. I do think the focus from the players is there.

“I thought last week we defended really well and in general I am pleased with how our central defenders have been playing. We have changed different partnerships within that. Part of having a strong squad is making sure we have players ready to come in so the likes of Callum Morris would fall into that bracket. He might seem far out of the picture at the moment but that can quickly change. Peter Pawlett is back in the team and there are others who you could say the same about. These players have to be ready.

“Team news, everyone is good to go from Sunday. Scott McKenna turned his angle in the Rangers U20 game so he has not been involved in the last couple of squads and he is still out. Ryan Jack is the only other player missing.

“Ryan was out doing a bit of running on the training pitch today. There are different stages of his rehab so it is important we don’t push him on too soon. But he has had no setbacks so far so it is all going to plan. Hopefully we will have him back with us before too long. It will be great to have him back.”
 

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Clinical Dons win again

October 1, 2016 9:21 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Aberdeen made two changes. Taylor and Maddison came in for Reynolds and Pawlett. Peter became a father for the first time and therefore missed the game. Many congratulations Pete from everyone at the club!

Aberdeen started the game very strongly.

Within 20 seconds a McGinn cross from the right landed at the feet of Maddison but his shot was blocked. The Dons then won a free kick 30 yards out. The ball was played sideways to McGinn who fired in a powerful drive which MacDonald had to push away.

Aberdeen continued to put on the pressure. McGinn and Maddison were finding a lot of space. On five minutes Maddison found the run Hayes with a neat through ball, the winger was one on one with the keeper but MacDonald got out quickly to block the low shot. Good goalkeeping as he was on top of Jonny very quickly. From the resulting corner there was a game of head tennis inside the area but the Ayrshire side somehow survived.

It was not all one way traffic. The home side were playing very direct and Kiltie and Coulibaly were getting forward to support Boyd.

Interestingly this season Kilmarnock have reduced the size of the pitch and taken both lines in to make the surface narrower. The pitch also had not been watered so the ball was sticking quite a bit. This also meant the ball was holding up when played long.

On 10 minutes Boyd beat the offside trap. He then played over a strong cross which was well cut by Lewis. Then seconds later a McGinn cross was just missed by the on rushing Shinnie five yards out. The skipper who could only have been inches away from getting a touch. Graeme was outstanding today in the middle of the park.   

The home side forced the first corner after 13 minutes, O’Connor headed clear. Hayes and Considine then got themselves in a mess a minute later which resulted in a free kick right on the edge of the area. Boyd tried a low drive into a ruck of players right in front of Lewis and fortunately for the Dons they got the break of the ball.

On 17 minutes McGinn found Rooney inside the area and the striker was able t turn twice. First time his shot was blocked and then he floated a cross over to O’Connor and his first time volley just went over the bar. Then Maddison played a lovely ball through for Rooney but it was just behind the striker who had the check his run.

Then after a great sweeping move, which started deep inside their own half, McGinn played it wide to Logan, his return pass found Niall who saw his first time shot was very well saved by MacDonald.

On 22 minutes another great little move resulted in a penalty. Rooney flicked the ball over the defence and Maddison got to it just ahead of MacDonald who caught James and a penalty was given. The keeper should have been stronger when trying to claim the ball. The home fans and players certainly did not agree with the decision. Willie Collum got this one right and booked the Killie keeper. Rooney had to wait over the ball for at least a minute as the protests continued and when he was finally able to take it he showed great composure to roll the ball into the net, putting MacDonald the wrong way.

Aberdeen thoroughly deserved to be ahead at this stage.

A minute later a Hayes cross was just cut out before Rooney could get his head on it. Despite the narrow pitch the Dons players were still able to work spaces in the wide areas.  

The mood of the home fans did not improve any when Boyd went down under the challenge from Considine inside the area but again Collum made the right decision to wave away the appeals. McGinn then had time to look up and picked out Rooney but the striker just headed over. A decent chance. Late in the half Logan gave away a free kick 25 yards out. It was in a good area, just left of centre, but Coulibaly curled his effort over. Final act of the half saw Logan give away a corner but the defence stood firm – as they did all afternoon.   

HT

The home side made a bright start to the second half. Last man Logan did well to cut out a long diagonal and Killie kept up a bit of pressure for a few minutes. Their best spell of the game.   

On 49 minutes, different class from Maddison inside the area. Despite having three players around him he controlled a difficult ball and his quick feet allowed him to put over a driven cross which Shinnie very nearly got on the end of. It was actually good defending at the back post.  

The move deserved a goal and the Dons got one from the resulting corner. The ball in from Maddison was flicked on to Considine and his brilliant shot on the half volley beat the keeper and the defender on the post. It was his 20th goal for the club and one any striker would have been proud of.

On 51 minutes Coulibaly got in between Logan and Taylor but dragged his shot wide. On 53 minutes McGinn, Hayes, Maddison all combined after more great movement which almost led to a chance for Rooney but MacDonald gathered.

Just before the hour mark Coulibaly for once broke the shackles of Logan. He drove inside and his shot from distance was not far away. Shay marshalled him out on the left wing very well during the 90 minutes.

On 62 minutes, after a lot of scrappy play, Maddison and Shinnie set up Rooney and his shot had to be tipped over. On 63 minutes a remarkable bit of skill from Maddison as he produced two nutmegs in succession before Burn hauled him down and received a yellow card. Maddison’s free kick was deflected over for a corner. Maddison then put over a superb ball and Taylor volleyed home for the third. Like Considine, it was a very good finish from a defender.

Maddison had a hand in the first three goals and was a joy to watch today – James was outstanding.

On 68 minutes it should have been four when Rooney was one on one with the keeper but Adam dragged his shot wide. Then a minute later an even better chance for the Irish striker when the ball broke off Maddison but this time he hit the bar. But then a minute after that Adam got another chance when the defence was posted missing again. Hayes found him a lovely reverse pass and this time he found the net despite MacDonald getting a touch.

On 74 minutes a McLean cross was not far away from Rooney who was now looking for his hat-trick. Two minutes later Maddison played a brilliant ball to McGinn and his cross from the left looked for Rooney but he had just strayed offside – he also put his effort wide anyway.

After 78 minutes a triple substitution: Rooney off, Stockley on; McGinn off, Burns on and Hayes off, Storey on.

On 82 minutes Killie’s final sub Miles Addison saw a header from a free kick deflected onto the roof of the net. It was as close as the home side came to a goal all afternoon. Luke Hendrie then a few minutes later also went close when Maddison lost his runner. His shot beat Lewis but Logan was well positioned to head off the line.

Aberdeen dominated possession in the final ten minutes but were unable to create any more openings. Arguably the Dons most complete performance of the season and a fourth win in a row. They head into the international break with much to look forward to this Autumn.   
 

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