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Inverness CT Preview

April 24, 2015 1:58 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Inverness CT v Aberdeen | 3.00pm KO | Saturday 25 April 2015

Derek McInnes pre match quotes |

“Inverness are obviously the team that can stop us getting second spot. I felt the game back here at Pittodrie a couple of weeks ago was an important fixture as is this one tomorrow. We feel that claiming second spot is in our own hands and if we can go there and win tomorrow we will have done it and it would be a big achievement for the players.

“It is a game we are looking forward to.

“They are good games and it is always tough. Every game against Inverness CT has been hard fought. Inverness are a very capable side as they showed last Sunday in the Scottish Cup semi-final. They showed how impressive they can be. Their consistency this season should be praised as well. They have a good side, good knowhow, John (Hughes) has done a brilliant job there.

“I know that they will not want us to go up there and win and they will be motivated to stop us getting that second spot. We know that to win we will have to play very well.

“If we claim second spot it should not be underplayed. I know there is a sense of disappointment amongst some of the players but they should not feel like that. We would be the first Aberdeen team to claim second spot for 21 years. That shows you how difficult a thing it is to do. The point’s tally that we could get to is also something the players should be pleased with.

“There is still work to be done. The time for reflection is at the end of the season. 

“Team news is that everyone is fit and available for the game. Russell trained this week but won’t travel. Barry is suspended.

“Barry was very keen to protest his innocence. I think we all agree that there is no intent there. The problem with violent conduct is that there is nothing in between. Is what Barry did the same as turning round and punching someone? It is the same punishment and that is what we felt was harsh. We recognise the referee at the time thought a red card might have been the right thing but when you look back at the incident there is no excessive force. Barry suffers and so do we the fact he will miss the next two matches because he has done well the last couple of games. We are disappointed but these are the rules. We appealed, we lost and we move on.

“We have another very early start to the season but that is what happens when your team is successful. There are more demands put on you. We should not shy away from that. In an ideal world you would think that the season would be structured better so the players could get more rest because there is a demand on them. We ask for that maximum performance throughout the season so you always have that concern but I would be more concerned if we were not in Europe.

“I am very pleased that Adam Rooney has been nominated for player of the year. Any player scoring 27 goals is always going to be recognised. Adam is an important part of the team. Every team needs a predator who is going to score goals at the top end of the pitch. Adam has done that time and time again. He started the season with a bang and he is finishing the season strongly. We are hopeful that he can get that individual award because it is good recognition from his fellow players.

“Nicky Low has taken an offer which is a brilliant deal for him. It has been very frustrating for Nicky because he has been out injured for five and a half months. The opportunity for him to kick on would maybe have been there this season had he not been injured. Nicky has taken a three year deal with Dundee, they are a good team and he will relish the opportunity. I have no problem with Nicky taking that challenge on and I understand fully why he has done it. He is a boy we have really enjoyed working with and we will continue to enjoy working with him until the end of the season and we will wish him well when he leaves.

“The other players that are out of contract, I have given consideration to them but now is not the time for me to discuss publicly as there is still a lot to play for.”

RedTV | the managers pre match media conference please click here
RedTV | Donervorn Daniels pre match media conference please click here
RedTV | Shay Logan interview please click here

We'll have live & biased commentary from Inverness from 2.50pm with updates on Twitter (@aberdeenfc) and afc.co.uk. Reaction and more to follow post match. 

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Dons clinch second spot

April 25, 2015 7:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Match summary

Aberdeen this afternoon clinched a second spot in the SPFL Premiership after coming from behind to beat third placed Inverness CT.

The Highlanders, still on a high after their Scottish Cup semi final win over Celtic last week, started the game well and with a strong wind behind them they were by far the better side in the first half. The Dons never got going and had to rely on three outstanding saves from Scott Brown to keep them on level terms. At the start of the second half the home side took a deserved lead when Edward Ofere prodded the ball home from 10 yards out with a good finish.

The goal forced the Dons to get their act together and Ryan Jack thought he had scored minutes later but Esson produced a great save. Cammy Smith had come on at the break and he was the player who changed the game in our favour. On 67 minutes he won a free kick. Niall McGinn swung in a great ball which appeared to go straight in. David Raven may have got a touch but Niall will still be claiming it! It was a much improved performance from Derek McInnes' side in the second half and on 73 minutes they took the lead. Hayes swung in a great corner which Caley failed to clear. There was a bit of a stramash on the goal line before Smith played the ball into the path of McGinn who hammered it home. Brown had to make one more decent save as the Dons defence held firm to claim the three points.

REDTV | Derek McInnes | please click here
REDTV | Scott Brown | please click here
REDTV | Niall McGinn | please click here
REDTV | the goals in 90 seconds | please click here

Match Report

Derek McInnes just made the one change this afternoon. Ryan Jack came back into the side to replace the suspended Barry Robson. So the Dons lined up with Brown in goal, Considine at left back, Logan at right back with Reynolds and Taylor in central defence. Hayes was wide left, McGinn wide right and Jack and Flood covered the central midfield area. McLean played just off Rooney upfront.

The match kicked off in sunny but very windy conditions. The Dons were playing into a strong wind in the first half and it took both teams a while to get used to the conditions.

On 5 minutes a Tansey free kick into the area was caught by the wind and drifted harmlessly behind. On 9 Ryan Christie made a good burst into the area but his control just let him down. Then after 13 minutes the first of what was a trio of greats saves from Scott Brown in the first half. Young player of the year nominee Christie, on the edge of the area, played in Watkins and his shot from close range was blocked by Brown. Gary Warren then had a free header from the resulting corner but the Dons eventually cleared. After quarter of an hour good defending from Raven after McGinn had a created an opening. On 17 minutes Rooney with a half chance which at full stretch he just put past the post after Hayes put him in with a great ball over the top. Adam hit the shot early so Esson was not set and if the shot had been on target it would have beaten the keeper.

20 minutes in and the wind was still causing a lot of problems. On 24 minutes Hayes down the left won the Dons their first corner. It was taken short to McGinn, he fired in a low shot which was well held by Esson. A minute later another great save from Scott Brown. Nick Ross beat the offside trap but he could not beat the keeper when he was one on one. He should have scored. From the resulting corner Josh Meekings headed wide, another good chance.

Any Aberdeen attacks were few and far between. On the half hour mark McGinn produced a good run as he galloped down the left. He also put in a good cross but Esson was well positioned to cut it out.  On 31 minutes another fantastic save from Brown, the best of the afternoon. ICT worked it well down the left and Shinnie got in behind. The soon to be Aberdeen player is so good in that area and with no one near him he was able to put a superb low ball across the face of goal. Watkins coming in at the back post looked certain to score but Brown somehow managed to produce an incredible stop from point blank range. A top top save. There have been many games this season where Scott has not really been tested but he certainly impressed this afternoon when called upon. 

On 39 minutes corner number two to the Dons after a rare attack. Hayes played the ball in, Rooney made a good run to the near post which lost his marker but he headed over. A chance for Adam as he got away from the defence but got too much on his header.

On 43 minutes Watkins hooked it over the bar after beating the offside trap again. The movement of the ICT forward players was causing the Dons rear-guard problems and they were getting in behind on too many occasions for Aberdeen’s liking. On the stroke of half time Inverness produced a nice move, Ross got a shot away but it is a comfortable save this time for Brown.

HT

At half time Derek McInnes replaced Kenny McLean with Cammy Smith and Aberdeen actually started the second half a bit brighter but within three minutes they were behind. Brown made an initial stop from Edward Ofere after Watkins played over a good cross but the ball hit the keepers chest and Ofere reacted well on the ground to fire the ball into the roof of the net. It was a good finish and the home side more than deserved their lead.

The goal did finally wake the Dons up.

On 50 minutes Considine swung in a great ball which Esson failed to come for. The ball actually went just past the post and out for a goal kick but Adam Rooney was only inches away from getting a touch. A minute later Esson produced a brilliant save. Aberdeen produced their first decent move, the ball fell to Ryan Jack about 10 yards out and it looked like he had found the net but the ex Dons keeper produced an instinctive save diving to his left. Jonny Hayes was then bundled off the ball in the aftermath but Crawford Allan refused to give a penalty. There may even have been a hand ball in amongst all that as well.

The game really had picked up and for the next ten minutes or so it was end to end. On 52 minutes Considine become the first player to be booked and then Shinnie had a chance after he made a great late run into the area but the ball would not come down for him. Three minutes later a dangerous free kick was whipped in and Rooney under his own bar did well to head the ball to safety. On the hour mark the home side produced another good passing move which saw Watkins burst into the box but he just lost control at the key moment.

On 66 minutes Cammy Smith showed really good battling qualities to win Aberdeen a free kick 30 yards out. Niall McGinn swung in a great ball which appeared to beat everyone and went straight into the net. Rooney went for it and failed to get a touch, defender Raven initially went up for it and he might have got the final touch. Aberdeen were back in the game.

On 71 minutes John Hughes made a double change with Vincent and Doran coming on. For the final twenty minutes Aberdeen looked a different side. All of a sudden their passing and movement was back and on 73 minutes they went ahead. After a good little spell of pressure Jonny Hayes swung in a corner. It was in the perfect area for Taylor to attack and his header was half blocked near the line. There was a bit of stramash and Cammy Smith got on the end of it. He tried to swing round and get a shot away but in the end the ball was laid off to the oncoming McGinn who hammered it home.

On 75 minutes Esson was forced to turn away a powerful shot from Hayes. ICT then came back into it as they went looking for an equaliser. The Dons defence who had looked a bit uncertain at times during the game were back to their resilient best in the final 15 minutes and even with a few aerial bombardments they looked in control of the situation. On 79 minutes Brown did well to tip a Warren header over the bar; that was the closest they came to getting an equaliser.

At the other end Aberdeen had a few breaks that they might have done better with but no matter, job done. A special mention must go to Cammy Smith who changed the game this afternoon. Cammy has been quite outstanding this season for the U20s and is a major reason why they are top of the Development League. He showed that same form when he came on today and his qualities were needed for this fight back.
 

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