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Scottish Cup | 4th Rd | Hearts v Aberdeen Preview

January 8, 2016 4:34 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

RedTV | to watch the managers pre match media conference in full please click here

Manager Derek McInnes previewed the Dons Scottish Cup tie on Friday morning:

“I think the fact that our fans have snapped up all the tickets so quickly and sold our end out suggests how much everyone is looking forward to the game. I think when the draw was made we could not pretend that it wasn’t a tough draw for both teams. It was not the draw we wanted. I would rather look at it from the point of view that it is a great game to be involved in.

“I think the pitch is good there as well which will suit the players. The atmosphere will be terrific and our supporters will go there and make a lot of noise. The later kick off lends itself to that as well. So I am really looking forward to the game.

“The good thing from my point of view with the St Johnstone game being off means there are no additional injuries. You are always concerned if you have three games in a week that you pick up a few bumps and bruises so with the game being off we have everyone fit apart from Ryan who misses the game. If we win on Saturday you could say it was a benefit but at the time we were disappointed the game was off although it was the right decision.

“In the two games we have played against Hearts this season there have been no real surprises. There is a healthy respect between both clubs. Hearts really make you think about your system and how you want to play. You have to bring a performance to beat them. In both games we have managed to do that. Down at Tynecastle we got off to a terrific start and the game became more about counter attacking because we got that early goal. We had a great support down there that day and we sent them home happy.

“The game at Pittodrie recently was more about winning every battle and trying to get on top individually. We stood up to that as well. We still applied pressure at the right times and were positive with our substitutions.

“I think we have to make sure we bring a performance. Whatever is required, whether it be an open game we have to try and show our quality or whether it be competitive game we have to stand up to that as well.

“Last season’s early exit was very disappointing but in the five cup competitions we have been involved in since I have been here we have managed to get to a final and two semi-finals. We feel confident we can do well in the cups but we are in amongst a lot of teams who have won cups over the last couple of seasons without producing that form in the league. We are producing good consistent performances in the league and we want to take that in the cup games.

“Tomorrow is as tough a tie as you could get but we still feel if our performance is right we can win the game. We want to do as well as we can and we know how important it is for a lot of aspects to do with the club and for the supporters to have a good campaign.”

The manager also gave his reaction to the latest transfer speculation:

“The long and short of it is I have no budget to spend. We have our squad in place. Josh and Ryan have returned to their parent clubs and we wish them well. Neither was a significant financial outlay from us. So anyone we brought in during the January transfer window would have to be self-funded from players moving out. As I said a couple of weeks ago we are not actively trying to do anything. I don’t have the opportunity to bring anyone in at the minute as it stands. The squad that we have put together is the squad that we put together for the season. Like every manager you would like more but I am comfortable with that and we move on.”

Adam Rooney

RedTV | watch the strikers pre match media conference in full please click here

“Saturday is a big game.

“We have been on a good run of form so the atmosphere is pretty good and the confidence is high and the lads are just looking forward to what should be a great game. We are taking a lot of fans down there so hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and hopefully we can get through to the next round. It is a venue we enjoy going to and one we know well after the league cup semi-final last season.

“I would not say there is any more pressure on one club than the other. It is a big game for both sides. We have had two good games against them already when we have come out on top and that is the aim on Saturday.

“Hearts are a good side. They are big and strong which makes them dangerous from set plays. I would not say Hearts are more physical than any of the other teams we play in the league. It is part of the game I quite enjoy. Like any team we have to try and get on top of them early in the game and try and take some kind of control. If that does not happen you have to try and be patient and stick to the game plan which we have been working
on.

“It is disappointing to lose Ryan for a few weeks but we have a strong squad. We have been without other big players in big games this season and other lads have come in and done well.

“Yes we want to do well in this competition. We want to do well in every competition but we can’t look too far ahead. We just will be concentrating on a very tough match tomorrow.”

Barry Robson

RedTV | to watch the interview with the Dons midfielder please click here

“The Scottish Cup is the one medal that is missing from my collection. I have won the league and won a couple of league cups but not the Scottish Cup. I have come close but it is the one competition that has eluded me. But it is a competition that I have always enjoyed and it is a competition I have had some great games in. I have scored a few goals in the competition over the years. I also managed to score in the FA Cup in England.

“It is one of the reasons I have kept playing. I would love to do well in the competition before retiring. I am not sure what will happen next season so this might be one of my last opportunities.

“I have not played as much as I would have maybe have liked in the first half of the season but I always knew the second half of the season would be more important for me. I still feel fit and I still feel strong and I will play as long as I can and I know I can still contribute on a football pitch. But you have to remember there are a lot of boys playing very well – Willo at the moment, Ryan before his injury, Kenny, Cammy is looking really sharp in training and then you have Niall and Jonny. These guys are all doing well and I am delighted with that. Long may it continue. I am still here and I am still contributing. It is about the whole squad and the whole club moving forward and that is what is happening at the moment. I want this club to do well.

“Hearts are always tough opponents. They are a good side. They are strong and aggressive. You seen the way they set up when they came up here a few weeks ago. They had a game plan which was clever. Being at home they might come at us a little bit more but however they set up we know that we are going to have to play well to get through this round.

“At the end of the day if you want to win a cup you have to beat the best teams. So why not try and beat them now? I would rather be playing in a big cup tie live on TV. It is a venue all the players enjoy playing at and although the kick off time is slightly usual I enjoy the night game. We are all desperate to go and win this game. Hopefully we can do that so I can keep the dream alive of winning that medal.”

 

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Dons exit Scottish Cup

January 9, 2016 8:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Aberdeen exited the Scottish Cup at Tynecastle. The Dons got off to a terrible start when they allowed Paterson to head home from close range in the opening minutes. They never got going in the first half and were fortune only to be a goal behind at the break. In the second half Aberdeen did improve and had periods of pressure. In a match with very few chances at either end, Andrew Considine missed a great opportunity to put the game to a replay. Also, on another day Adam Rooney might have had a penalty for being hauled down inside the area but in truth it was too little too late and the home side deserved to go through to the next round.

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Please note the Scottish Cup broadcast restrictions are slightly different to the league as the competition is run by the SFA. Normal SPFL rules do not apply therefore the full match replay will be available in the UK & Ireland from midday on Monday.

match report

This season saw a popular return to the top flight teams entering the Scottish Cup at the more traditional time of January but thanks to the luck of the draw The Dons had a tough task ahead of them to keep their Scottish Cup ambitions alive after being handed a trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts.

For the neutrals this match was definitely the pick of the ties but there is no doubt that both teams would have preferred ‘weaker’ opposition at this stage of the competition.

The Dons had the upper hand over Hearts though winning both league clashes including a magnificent 3-1 victory in Edinburgh. Derek McInnes and his Aberdeen players would have had their sights set on producing a similar performance and result in front of the 3,500 strong travelling support.

Aberdeen set out with one change to the side that started the match against Partick Thistle at Pittodrie. Ryan Jack missed out due to an injury sustained in that match with Considine taking his place in the starting line-up.

The change meant that Considine started on the left side of a back four with Taylor, Reynolds and Logan in front of Ward. In Jack’s absence Shinnie took the skipper’s place in midfield alongside Flood with McLean, Hayes and McGinn looking to create the opportunities for Rooney up front.

The home side made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Kilmarnock in their previos fixture. Oshaniwa, King and Juanma dropped to the bench with Ozturk, Pallardo and Sow replacing them.

It wasn’t a sell-out at Tynecastle but there was still a terrific atmosphere as the teams took to the pitch. The first corner of the match went to the home side as Reynolds turned the ball behind under pressure from Sow. Nicholson floated the cross to the back post and Ozturk headed the ball towards goal for Paterson to turn it past Ward after just 2 minutes. It was a nightmare start for The Dons.

The early pressure belonged to the home side and in the 7th minute it was another cross ball that looked to have undone Aberdeen. Nicholson got up at the back post to beat Logan and head the ball back across goal but Reynolds was in the right position to snub out the danger.

Just a couple of minutes later Reynolds picked up a booking for a foul on Sow 25 yards from goal. The free-kick was teed up for Sow and his deflected strike fell to Djoum, the midfielder’s strike was deflected behind for a corner.

The corner was not cleared by Aberdeen with McLean’s sliced clearance bouncing in the 18 yard box. Hearts poked the ball towards goal and just when Ward appeared to have it under control Augustyn had a chance which he turned just wide of the post.  It was a tough start for The Dons and the home side didn’t show any signs of making things any easier.

The Dons had went to three at the back with Shinnie now operating as left wing back and in the 17th minute they had their first real drive into opposition territory thanks to a great run from Shinnie. Pallardo stopped his progress just outside the area and earned a booking for the challenge. McGinn stepped up to take the free-kick but it was straight at Alexander.

The tactical change provided an improvement in Aberdeen’s fortunes as they enjoyed some possession and quietened down the home support. McLean and Flood were able to get some touches and it looked as if some joy could be found down the left with Shinnie.

The next corner went to the home side and after some wrestling in the area Augustyn headed the ball wide of the near post. Nicholson was next to test Ward with a powerful strike from outside the area just before the half hour mark.

There had been improvement from The Dons on the opening stages but the forward players were still sparsely involved. On another day Rooney may have won a couple of free-kick’s but the referee seemed keen to let play go as much as possible.

In the 33rd minute a succession of corners started for the home side. Kenny McLean had to be sharp to clear a header from Augustyn which seemed to be destined for the back of the net. The home side were proving very difficult to deal with from set-pieces making their height advantage count.

In the 37th minute there was a setback for Derek McInnes as Flood had to leave the field with an injury. The injury presented a chance for Peter Pawlett to make an impact.

The home side picked up another corner with 5 minutes of the first half remaining. On this occasion there was a clear push in the area but no foul was given. The Dons managed to clear but it wasn’t long before there was another corner which was again cleared.

John Beaton appeared happy to let things go in the box which made for plenty of goalmouth excitement but made things even more difficult for The Dons. The challenge for Aberdeen was to make the most of this approach in the Hearts area but chances were limited.

In the 43rd minute the referee did race into action to show a yellow card to Rooney and Rossi for an off the ball incident when a word in their ear would have been sufficient. The referee was perhaps influenced by the home support but it looked like a situation created out of nothing.

At half-time it was Hearts who held a deserved one goal lead.

As the teams emerged for the second half there were no changes in personnel but The Dons had returned to four at the back. In the 47th minute Pawlett earned a free-kick after a burst of pace in the Hearts half. The delivery was headed up in the air and Alexander collected the ball calmly. Up the other end Reilly got into a good area but his cross was cut out at the near post.

In the 53rd minute Nicholson won a free-kick on the edge of the area. Ozturk struck the ball towards goal but it was straight at Ward. The Dons countered and after Hayes found Considine he directed the ball across goal towards Rooney. The striker hit the deck and was claiming that his shirt was pulled, nothing given and the ball would not fall for McGinn or Pawlett.

No penalty given but The Dons looked to have been lifted and were fighting to get their way back into the match.

In the 58th minute McGinn had a chance to deliver with a free-kick which he placed right on top of Alexander, the keeper punched the ball but the linesman had his flag up for offside which relieved any pressure.

It took seven minutes for the next opportunity for either side, probably the longest period in the match. Some slack defending from Hearts allowed Rooney to find an opening in the left channel but his low strike was comfortable for Alexander to save at his near post when white shirts were queuing up to pick up on any rebounds.

The Dons had a glorious chance in the 67th minute when Hayes drove into the box and hit a shot towards goal. He didn’t make contact as he would have liked but the ball fell to Considine just yards from goal and his connection sent the ball wide of the post, an agonising miss.

Hearts made a counter-attack of their own when a short pass from Considine presented an opportunity to get the ball into Sow. The striker was one-on-one with Taylor in the box and managed to get a strike away but Ward was there to save.

In the 70th minute Goodwillie replaced Considine as The Dons looked to step up their search for an equaliser. The next chance fell to Sow as he once again found space in the box and got a strike away on his left foot, this time the ball flashed across the six yard box and wide of the far post.

Hearts were on the up again but The Dons had a corner. From the corner Sow broke away and Ward had to be off his line at pace to reach the ball 30 yards from goal before Reilly. It was an excellent piece of goalkeeping.
With just over ten minutes of normal time remaining Pawlett won a free-kick once again 30 yards from goal. It looked too narrow to cross and McLean opted to hit a strike towards goal which Alexander gathered.

McGinn got to the byline and clipped a ball up to the back post but the Hearts backline got to the first ball, Rooney headed the second ball towards goal but there was no one around to give it the touch it needed to beat Alexander.

With 3 minutes remaining Aberdeen were presented with a free-kick 25 yards from goal. McLean’s strike hit the wall this time and McGinn’s volley ended up wide of the post. At this stage it was a case of hoping that The Dons would have one final opportunity before the game was up. The second half performance had been better but it needed a goal.

A long ball fell towards McGinn at the back post and he connected with a volley well but Alexander did enough to keep it out although he couldn’t collect it. In the aftermath Pawlett picked up a booking in a desperate attempt keep the pressure on.

As the game entered four minutes of stoppage time Goodwillie won a corner. Reynolds won the ball at the back post but Taylor couldn’t direct the second ball past Alexander.

The tension was building as another opportunity fell for The Dons to put the ball in the box. Ward contested the cross ball but in desperation a foul was committed from Logan which looked to be the final act of the match.
Still there was more drama as Ward raced up the pitch for another corner.

Every Aberdeen player was in the area but it did not make a difference as Hearts cleared the ball and John Beaton signalled the end of the match.
 

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