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Ross County Preview | The Manager

October 27, 2017 5:28 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

“I’ve never been drawn on any speculation in the past and I won’t change that now. I’ve been linked with different things during my time here and nothing’s transpired. I’ve stated often enough how happy I am here, and nothing changes from that. I signed a contract in the summer and I’m very happy being here. I don’t want to be drawn on speculation. I think it’s sad that we’re not even out of October and we’ve lost four managers already. That’s a third of the managers working so it’s always disappointing to see someone lose their job. For my own sake I’m only concentrating on tomorrow’s game against Ross County and trying to bounce back from a disappointing evening against Celtic.

“Having been round the players the last couple of days there’s an extra determination to go and get smiles back on the faces of the supporters and hopefully winning all three points. We’ve all got that responsibility at the club to lift the players. I was trying to stress the difference between the resources we have compared to Celtic. That aside on the night and a few people within Celtic themselves have commented that they felt that was their best performance for a long time. When you get their players playing at that level it’s difficult to stop. We’ve always tried to be competitive at Aberdeen. We’ve always tried to make some sort of semblance of a challenge, whether it’s through the League form or in the Cups. It is difficult there’s no question, but we feel as though we can concentrate on ourselves. We’ve got another opportunity to win tomorrow and keep winning games. We’ve been unbeaten in the League until the other night and I’ve no doubt the players will pick themselves up. We’ve all got that responsibility from the staff to the supporters to make sure the players are as bright as they possibly can be tomorrow. It is important we don’t have any hangover from the other night. It’s our intention to be way better than Ross County tomorrow and win all three points.

""“With Owen Coyle it’s a new manager coming in, who’s someone I know very well. What we’ve felt with Ross County is they’ve got a decent understanding with a lot of players being up there for a long time. They always make it competitive and Owen’s had a decent reaction since he went in. We’ve thought, even when I’ve taken on Jim’s (McIntyre) teams it was always a tough game against Ross County. We’ve had some decent results against them, particularly at Pittodrie. It’s still the same kind of threats that they carry in terms of their personnel and having worked with Owen he will be coming down to get a positive result. Equally we want to be a real tough challenge for them and we’ve got to go and show what we are all about as it’s important to bounce back.

“I think their results have been steady. They’ve beat Hamilton and Kilmarnock while drawing with St Johnstone, which is never easy. Although they lost to Hearts, having seen the game it was a very tight match and it could have gone either way. I think they will be pleased coming here in a decent frame of mind, but we want to impose ourselves on them and make it difficult for us.

“On Wednesday there wasn’t a seat to be had and I think the supporters came with an expectation for the game. We all did, and I think we put ourselves under that pressure. It’s good to have that pressure and we’ve raised the bar. The crowds have gone up, the standard of the team has gone up and we fancied ourselves going into the game so when the result doesn’t come there is disappointment. We are expecting 15 ½k tomorrow so the majority of those will be back again tomorrow and while it was a disappointing night for the supporters we aim to have a better performance and result tomorrow.

“Everyone is fit and obviously Ryan Christie comes back into contention tomorrow. The players have been fine. They’ve been in the last couple of days, turned their legs over and looking for any obvious signs of stiffness or fatigue, but everyone is ready for the game.

“Ryan starts every game for me. There’s only been one game where he hasn’t and that was just trying to freshen the team up from a midweek game. He gives us poise, energy, positivity and that goal threat. He’s been a wee bundle of energy since he came, and he always affects the game positively for us. We could have done with him the other night, but as I say we are glad to have him back.

“We can be better than what we were the other night. Going into the game we were joint top of the league and it was our best start for a long time. We can be competitive as we can in the league and when you come across this Celtic team they are a good side and they probably will go on and break this domestic record. We know from our own point of view that the cups are vitally important and that’s why there was huge disappointment going out to Motherwell. I still feel the team are capable of more than we’ve shown in the past and that’s why we raise the standards year in year out.”
 

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Dons get back to winning ways

October 28, 2017 9:09 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Three changes for the Dons with Stewart, Christie and Wright coming back into the starting XI.

The game kicked off in dry but extremely blustery conditions.

In the third minute Christie picked the ball up in the hole. He had space to run into but instead played a lovely first time ball for May. Stevie had time in the area to put over a cross but it was cut out by a Ross County defender and eventually cleared at the third attempt. With keeper Fox and captain Davies both missing, in was an inexperienced County backline and something Aberdeen were hoping to exploit.

On nine minutes Ross County took the lead completely against the run of play. A left footed shot from Michael Gardyne from thirty yards was on target and went under Lewis who never got his body behind the ball It was the first time the visitors had been in the Aberdeen half. Although the wind was making life difficult for both sets of players, it has to go down as a mistake by the Dons number one who probably should have just pushed the ball to safety instead of try to hold it.

On 11 minutes Aberdeen won the first corner of the game. Christie put a dangerous second ball over but it drifted out of play. A minute later the Dons equalised with a goal out of the top drawer. After good play from McLean, Christie picked the ball up and played a one two with Stevie May. He took a touch and then lashed a shot into the top corner of the net. An early contender for goal of the season. It was quite a hit from young Ryan.
A few minutes later he tried his lucky from 30 yards out but this time the connection was not as good.

It was a very open first 15 minutes.

On 17 minutes Kenny McLean produced a fine run and shot which was just off target. Two minutes later a Shinnie cross landed on the roof of the net. The wind was continuing to cause both keepers a lot of problems. On 20 minutes Lewis redeemed himself with a brilliant block. A neat pass found Craig Curran who was in acres of space after McKenna slipped but the keeper was out quickly to save.

A Shinnie cross went out of play which brought to an end a promising break before County won their first corner but again the wind took the ball out of play.

On 27 minutes a snap shot from Gardyne on the turn was well saved by Lewis.   After the half hour mark a quick free kick was worked well and Shinnie had space on the left. The skipper put over a superb low ball which went across the six yard box. Christie was racing in but Sean Kelly produced a really good bit of defending to clear the danger. After 33 minutes McLean hit a great shot from 30 yards which reserve keeper McCarey had to push away.

The next passage of play was very stop start.

On 42 minutes the game came to life again. Scott Wright was one on one with the full back on the left. Scott had the defender in knots before a low cross which went all the way through to Christie and he poked the ball just past the past. It was a golden chance to take the lead on the stroke of half time. County also had a half chance when Naismith on the right crossed for Curran but Arnason was well positioned to clear. Kari had another very solid game this afternoon.

HT. Aberdeen 1 Ross County 1

Aberdeen started the second half strongly.

They won a corner which was delivered to the near post. Kenny McLean met it but from a very tight angle his header was always going over.  

Aberdeen continued to press and on 50 minutes nice play by Greg Stewart found Shinnie’s run into the area and when he was tripped by Lindsay it was a stonewall penalty. Kenny McLean stepped forward and although the keeper dived the right way he could get nowhere near the spot kick as Kenny had put it right in the corner.
Having taken the lead Aberdeen kept pressing. Logan won a corner and then a disguised pass from Christie found May but he could not react quick enough.

On 57 minutes the first change from Derek McInnes, the tiring May was replaced by Maynard.

Just before the half mark a good counter attack from Aberdeen. Wright play it wide to Shinnie but looping cross was easily taken by McCarey. On 61 minutes Christie almost scored another screamer. He hit a shot from 25 yards which had the keeper completely beaten but the ball rebounded off the bar.

Aberdeen were enjoying a good spell and were maybe a bit wasteful with a couple of breaks they had. Nicky Maynard was looking very sharp up front.

With 25 minutes to go Keillor-Dunn was replaced by Ryan Dow.  A few minutes after coming on the sub got in behind Arnason but McKenna thankfully got there ahead of Lindsay. On 70 minutes Christie played it wide to Stewart and although he stepped inside the full back he could not work a shot. A minute later Stewart was replaced by Rooney and Wright replaced by Mackay-Steven.

After some solid defending Maynard produced a good break after tackling O’Brien. He played it wide to Rooney who as ever got a shot on target but McCarey at his near post has his angles correct.
With 15 to go McKenna was booked for a foul on Curran. The resulting free kick was very well defended by Arnason.

Aberdeen then wasted their best chance to make the game safe. GMS and Maynard combined on the left. Nicky got to the by-line and his cross found Rooney but he could not get enough on his left footed shot. Shay Logan, who has a remarkable scoring record against County, then had an opening but the right back’s shot was half charged down.

Aberdeen had failed to kill the game off which led to a nervous last ten minutes.

On 81 minutes, heart in mouth stuff as the ball from a corner hung up in the wind and Lewis could not come for it. The ball fell for defender Kelly but he could not get a shot away after being crowded out. In the close stages Shinnie and Christie were booked as they battled to keep the visitors at bay. There were a few long balls into the area but during the three minutes of added time man of the match McLean was instrumental in keeping the ball in the corner flag which ran the clock down.

A deserved three points that takes Aberdeen back to within one point of Celtic.

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