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Hamilton Accies Pre Match | Derek McInnes

February 27, 2017 7:33 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes did he pre-match media conference on Monday afternoon ahead of the trip to Hamilton on Tuesday. The manager started by looking back at the 1-0 win over Ross County which moved the Dons nine points clear in second spot.

“I think too much can get made of tactical changes. We just had to try and get a bit of momentum and certain changes at different times in the game can help. We wanted to try and get some support up to Adam. We had a team in mind if they came here with a back four but we also had an idea of how we wanted to be in they came in with a back five once we got the team sheet. Again that extra striker, extra focal point takes a bit of pressure off Adam and I thought with the way the conditions were we had to try and play forward and play wide quicker. We managed to do that and Miles certainly played his part in helping us so the game went our way. I thought we had been the better team without working their keeper too much. I certainly thought once we went 1-0 up you saw the experience of the team and I never really felt we were under any real threat.  

“That is another indication of how the team is feeling at the minute and the confidence that exists within the team.

“We say to our own defenders that they need to be ready for fresh legs coming on. The fitness levels of defenders has to be very high because most managers will alter their forward line in some way if things are not going well. I thought Miles was that for us. He showed real energy, real determination and a real desire to have an impact the time he was on. He dragged and moved people about. O’Connor and Pawlett then help us see the game out. We have good options on the bench this season.

“We had a frustrating night last time we played at Hamilton. We were disappointed with our performance. I remember we started ok but missed a couple of chances then Hamilton got their penalty which we were aggrieved about, but it happens. They then had something to hold onto and we were not great with our work. It highlighted how important that first goal is. More often than not we have been getting that first goal. We have been imposing ourselves on games and we have to be ready for that on Tuesday night as the game is always quick, the surface can make it even quicker, but what you always fancy when you play Hamilton is a very competitive side.

“So many teams at the bottom are one week fighting relegation and then the next being talked about for the top six. What is becoming clear, the way the league is shaping up, there is so much still to play for for everyone. There is a pressure on all the sides to get away from the bottom two slots. Normally at this stage of the season every game has something on it, but even more so this season the way things are looking at the moment.

“We have won every game up here against Hamilton but I think they are a stronger team at home. We have to make sure our mindset is right. We are in the position we are in because we are a good team but that does not give you any guarantees. We still have to impose ourselves on the opposition. Every game is a challenge whether it is the conditions, whether you have injuries, whether you are playing a team in good form. Every game is a challenge and we have found Hamilton a challenge on their own patch.  

“Jayden won’t make tomorrow but we are hopeful he will be ok for Sunday. Hopefully he will be back training by the end of the week.

“I have been saying for a while now there is a lot to look forward to towards the back end of the season. As the games become less and less then each game becomes more and more important. We are really pleased with what the players are giving us at the minute. Sometimes it is what is expected but 10 wins out of 11 is brilliant form and the players deserve a lot of credit. We are enjoying winning and hopefully we can keep it going with three points tomorrow night and then the cup game on Sunday will look after itself. We have said often enough what we want to achieve this year.”  
 

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Dominant Dons defeated

February 28, 2017 10:08 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes was forced to make one change with Jonny Hayes being ruled out for 10-12 days with a hamstring strain. Ryan Christie came into the starting XI and Connor McLennan joined the bench.

The game kicked off in good conditions in front of a sizable Aberdeen support.

The Dons were very keen to avoid a repeat of what happened last time the sides met at this venue and they started at a good tempo. In the third minute McGinn cut in off the left and floated over a good cross which was not far away from Rooney.

A minute later the visitors forced the first corner of the night and a second followed shortly after but Hamilton comfortably cleared both. Logan then put a ball into the area which was just a little too long for McLean who had made a good run. Rooney then put over a deep cross but there was no one there.

On 8 minutes, Hamilton with what seemed like their first touch of the ball, took the lead. Christie gave away a free kick which was played into the area and Mikey Devlin got in front of Taylor and flicked the ball into the net past Lewis.

After 11 minutes Rooney won a third corner and McGinn a fourth which again were cleared. Then a McLean flick-on sent Rooney clear but his first-time shot went wide of the post. The striker was getting closed down quickly but will be disappointed he never hit the target. On 15 minutes McLean, who was playing in an advanced role, won a free kick after some neat skill. His ball in though from a promising position was headed clear.

On 18 minutes a nice run from Christie down the right led to another corner. This time Rooney got to the ball ahead of a Hamilton marker but his volleyed effort was steered just wide. Adam went even closer a minute later when he his header from a McGinn cross beat the keeper but bounced off the far post and frustratingly Christie was unable to get the rebound.

It was all Aberdeen but they could not force the ball home. On 25 minutes Christie lifted a perfectly weighted pass for Shinnie who laid it off for McGinn but his first time shot just went wide. Two minutes later McLean won a free kick 25 yards out. McGinn took it and curled his effort onto the roof of the net. On the half hour mark Rooney won yet another corner but Taylor could do nothing with a header.

On 33 minutes a nice passing move led to McLean playing McGinn in and on first viewing it appeared that Niall was taken down as he was about the shoot. The ball then fell for Rooney but his lost his footing at the vital moment and the chance was lost. A minute later a McGinn cross from the left looked like it would finally lead to a goal but the outstretched Rooney could not get a touch as the ball fizzed across the goal line.

Shinnie then ran in on goal after a great run down the left but his driven cross was cut out at the front post before Rooney missed another half chance and then he almost intercepted a loose pass back.

On 39 minutes a deep free kick from Logan was knocked down and Taylor hammered a shot just over the bar. Before half time Aberdeen forced another three corners – nine in total for the half – the last of which led to a goalmouth scramble but twice Hamilton made blocks inside the six yard box.

Incredibly Aberdeen went in at the interval a goal down despite completely dominating the first forty five minutes.

HT Hamilton Accies 0 Aberdeen 1 

At half time Mark Reynolds was replaced by Peter Pawlett. There were nervous moments a minute in when McGinn was adjudged to have committed a foul. It allowed Redmond the chance to whip in another free kick but this time Lewis took a comfortable catch.

With Hamilton enjoying some possession the Dons were able to break on 48 minutes. McLean played it wide to Shinnie who in turn found McGinn and his dinked cross found McLean worked an opening but his shot was saved by Gary Woods. McLean had a chance to break again a minute later but spotted the keeper off his line and tried a shot from the half way line which was not off target by much. McLean then had another chance when he beat two players inside the area but his right footed shot went over.

Ioannis Skondras was booked for time wasting on 52 minutes. On 54 minutes McGinn comfortably the Hamilton left back but his cross was deflected into the arms of Woods at his near post. Aberdeen then won three more corners in succession but still the Hamiton defence held firm. Michael Devlin was outstanding at the back.

On the hour mark McLean and Shinnie combined well before they won yet another corner. Taylor directed a header goalward but the whistle had gone for a foul. On 61 minutes Accies brought Docherty and Crawford on. The Dons had to beware of their pace on the break.

On 63 minutes a McLean cross was knocked down by Logan and the right looked to have scored but the ball was somehow deflected onto the roof of the net.

Still the Dons could not get the ball over the line despite being camped outside the Hamilton box.

With just over twenty minutes to go Ryan Christie was replaced by Miles Storey. Graeme was then booked for a foul on Skondras. With fifteen minutes to go McLean swung in a cross which saw Rooney get in between the two centre halfs but his faint touch was just not quite enough.

With ten minutes remaining Aberdeen finally had the ball in the net when Pawlett’s shot fell into the path of Storey but the striker was offside.

Aberdeen had another spell of intense pressure and two yellow cards in quick succession for Darian MacKinnon led to a red card. Worrying with three minutes left Ryan Jack picked up an injury and had to be replaced by O’Connor.

Taylor was thrown forward in the final few minutes but the Dons had by now lost their way and Accies comfortably dealt with the high ball that came their way, even when Lewis came up for two late corners.

A very frustrating night for The Dons.

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