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ICT Preview | The Manager

April 3, 2017 8:55 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

“The game on Friday night went far better than we expected.

“We went down there to get the three points, that was the priority. But to score seven goals and put on such a special performance was really pleasing. There is another game tomorrow and we can’t look back now. What we can do is go into the Inverness game feeling good about ourselves and feeling confident. But it is a different challenge and we have to go and do it all again.

“The game became difficult for Dundee as each goal went in. I think you saw the intent from the players to keep the work rate going. And when you get the confidence going through the team as you saw, it is difficult for opposition players.

“Even if we lost the game on Friday it is important to move on from it. I made reference to the players today that we stop talking about Dundee now and we focus on Inverness. Like every game, the way the situation is in the SPFL at the moment, every game has something on it. There is so much at stake for every team. And Inverness are no different.

“When you look at the last couple of months there is no doubt Richie is getting far better performances from them. They are probably looking to turn that form into more points but in every game, they have been will in the game. They have had a few draws that they could have turned into won and that would have gotten them away from where they are at the moment.

“There is a familiarity about them now. They look as if they have got the bit between their teeth. I am surprised to see them where they are. I think they will be ok but they have work to do. They are a good side and have experience. They have goal scorers, especially in Billy Mackay at the top end of the pitch. I think they will have a confidence that they will get away from the bottom. We expect a tough match as we always do against Inverness but hopefully we can come out on top.

“We have to realise the importance of focus.

“We realise the different challenges that come our way. The freshness within the team has been good. We are into April and the energy levels have been very pleasing. It is alright asking for it and wanting it but we have to actually go and do it again.

“I spoke to Richie and he was happy for the Greg Tansey news to be announced. These things always have a habit of getting out there if they are not announced. We both felt it was maybe the best thing to do. It is only fair I don’t talk too much about Greg until he is my player. We are well aware of his qualities and his team mate’s qualities.

“If someone had told me at this stage of the season we would be ten points clear of Rangers and twenty points clear of Hearts, we would have grabbed that. But there is still work to do and plenty of challenges ahead. I just hope the players get the reward that their good play deserves. There has been a lot of special nights and special performances.

“Team news; Jayden is suspended and Mark is still injured. Everyone else is ok.

“There is no update on the contract situation. We have decided to get these next couple of games out of the way first.”

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

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Dons extend winning home record

April 5, 2017 12:17 am Author: Aberdeen FC

As expected, Aberdeen's starting XI was unchanged from the side that put seven past Dundee On Friday night. Inverness arrived with the Dons latest signing starting in their midfield. Greg Tansey's name was cheered by the Red Army when the teams were read out before the match. He will make the switch from the Highlands to Pittodrie in the summer.

Another interesting addition to the Caley side was full back Kevin McNaughton who started his career with the Dons. Kevin moved to Cardiff over a decade ago, this was his first time back at his old ground.

The Dons settled into the game quickly and were playing some nice one touch football as well as showing a lot of confidence on the ball. The first chance came after two minutes when Jonny Hayes took off up the pitch spreading the ball wide for Niall McGinn, but he was ruled offside as he got his shot away. McGinn was involved again shortly afterwards cutting the ball back for Hayes in the middle who could have shot first time instead of taking a touch. The danger was averted.

Niall had a great headed chance after 10 minutes, when Hayes floated a ball towards him but he also took a touch instead of shooting first time with his left foot. The midfield trio of McLean, Hayes and McGinn were playing with great confidence and were spreading the ball around freely.

But then Caley fashioned a great chance to take the lead after a Dons attack came to nothing. Polworth got the break of the ball gliding last Graeme Shinnie. Graeme was chasing all the way but he managed to slip the ball through to Billy Mckay who was denied from close range by Joe Lewis. A very good save.

Shinnie had a go himself after 22 minutes and nearly saw his shot creep in at the right side of the post. The ball took a deflection on its way through, with Hayes taking the resulting corner. Jonny’s neat cross to the front post was tapped in from six yards. There was some confusion over who got the final touch. Ash Taylor half claimed it, as did Andy Considine. Although the goal was originally given to Taylor, the referee confirmed at half-time it was actually a Gary Warren own goal. All three players also confirmed after the game that Gary had the final touch.

More importantly, the Dons were ahead.

The Dons nearly doubled their advantage after 27 minutes when Adam Rooney tried to glance a header in from deep inside the box. It never made its way through so Ryan Jack fired the rebound towards goal, only to be denied by some great defending.

Despite the continued pressure, Inverness were nearly level when Anier's driven cross was helped on by Tansey, but he could only send the ball over the bar. The cross was just slightly behind Greg.

It was becoming end to end stuff, with Jonny Hayes shooting from wide on the right. Warren managed to deflect it over the bar for a corner, with Ash Taylor failing to find the target with his header. The Dons are looking really dangerous from set plays at the moment.

Ash is another man who is full of confidence, which he demonstrated with some nimble footwork in his own half to fend off the advances of three opposition players.

With less than five minutes to go, Aberdeen had a great chance on the break when Hayes played Niall McGinn in. Niall danced through a couple of players inside the box, letting fly across goal only for Tremarco to deflect the ball just past the post. McLean was in close attendance but could not get a touch. The Inverness full back Tremarco made a number of superb last ditch tackles or blocks.

Kenny McLean's volley from wide on the left was the final chance of the half, but he couldn't get the connection on it meaning it spun wide of the target.

HT Aberdeen 1 – 0 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

There was no great change in narrative at the start of the second half, with Aberdeen dominating possession and getting forward in numbers. Kenny McLean had the first couple of efforts with a shot which he dragged wide and a free kick which went into the wall.

Joe Lewis was called into action after 54 minutes when Polwarth drove a shot in from outside the box. Another very decent save. It was on target and was a message from Caley that they were still well in the game. At the other end, McGinn took on a direct free kick but it was a fraction to high.

Ryan Jack had a great chance after starting a move himself from inside his own half. The captain patiently played his way out of an isolated position. Some nice one touch football saw the Dons move quickly up the pitch. Ryan's cross was played back to him after Tremarco's clearance. His curled snap shot was just wide of the post.

The chances were being spread throughout the team and Shinnie was knocking on the door once again. Jonny Hayes shrugged off two defenders lifting a high cross into the box. Fon Williams parried Graeme's header back out to him, allowing Graeme to leap back to his feet and try another shot. His second effort hit a man on its way through. So close but Aberdeen could not force the all important second goal.

By now the pitch had cut up quick a bit and was making it difficult for the Dons players. There were also a few tired legs.

McGinn's last action of the evening came after 79 minutes, with a driving run forward followed by a shot over the bar. He was replaced by Ryan Christie shortly afterwards with Miles Storey also coming on for Adam Rooney as the manager tried to freshen things up.

Inverness had by now thrown on three attacking players and the game had become very stretched.

After 80 minutes Aberdeen missed a golden opportunity to make the game save. A Jonny Hayes cross got caught under the feet of Miles Storey on the goal line. After the free scoring performance at Dens Park, it was proving to be slightly more challenging evening.

It was a frantic end to the game with both teams proving their fitness and desire. It really was end to end and the reds had to dig deep. There were a few nervous moments during the three minutes of injury time, especially as Aberdeen kept giving the ball away, but the Dons defence held on for a fifth clean sheet in a row and a tenth win at home in a row. It was a deserved three points.
 

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