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Hamilton Accies Preview | The Manager

November 2, 2017 4:15 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes looks ahead to Aberdeen’s meeting with Accies on 4th November 2017.

“Like I said at last week’s press conference, before and after last week’s game, my job is here and it’s not for me to deal with speculation.

“I’d rather be speaking about the fact we’ve got three players in the Scotland squad, so we are looking forward to that. Also, the fact we are only a point behind (Celtic) and responded with a good result last week.

“We are here to talk about the Hamilton game on Saturday, so the job is ongoing. It’s business as normal for us and a normal week for us. We’ve always been the same in how we deal with things, whether its criticism, praise or speculation; it’s always about the next game and that’s exactly what’s going on.

“I think we get enough credit and we aren’t looking for that. To be tucked in behind Celtic by only a point at this stage of the season pleases me. It shows the consistency we’ve shown over the last few years. It’s only a start, but we’ve got so much football left to try and maintain that consistency and hopefully continue to improve. It’s been a bit stop-start this season with the international breaks and then missing out last Saturday because of the semi-final dates. We are into November now and there’s still so much for us to challenge ourselves and improve. I feel the improvement will come as we go along.

“I couldn’t be happier (for the Scotland players). We got an indication and I had a couple of conversations with Malky Mackay, while he didn’t tell me for definite, I got an induction that the three boys would be involved.

“When I told the lads that was going to be the case prior to the squad being announced all three were absolutely delighted and thrilled as we all are at the club. The supporters, teammates and staff are all pleased for the lads. Kenny, Ryan and Graeme have been knocking at the door for a while now and it’s good to see those efforts being recognised. The challenge for them now is not to just take a breath and take the pat on the back for being involved in the squad. This time it’s making sure they can do all they can to be a regular and that comes through performances, but also how they train with Scotland while they’re away, how they play in the game and hopefully all three get the minutes to show how good a player they are. They’ve broke through and it’s a good step forward, but they’ve got to take big steps forward and hopefully become regulars within the Scotland squad.

“We’ve got many Scottish boys here and a couple of the Irish lads as well in O’Connor and Rooney. They’ll still be wanting to get involved in their international set up. For all the Scottish lads it must be a boost for them all. McKenna and Wright are established at U21’s and I certainly think that Malky’s named a squad that is trying a few new things differently, given an opportunity with it being a friendly it’s the ideal game for these boys. Hopefully its encouragement for everyone that if you’re consistent enough that will be recognised.

“I think our boys are always trying to fight against players that maybe play in the Premier League, Championship or Celtic and Rangers so they have always competed against that. Now hopefully they have an opportunity next Thursday if they get on the pitch to show they can do it at that level and I’ve got no doubts those boys will do well. We’ve got others I feel can be involved in the future potentially, but everybody is pleased. It’s great we’ve got a game at Pittodrie and I’m sure the Aberdeen supporters will come out in good numbers to hopefully see our players get a chance to pull on the navy jersey and perform well for our country.

“I watched the Hamilton (vs Dundee) game back and I thought they were very dogged. Dundee missed opportunities to get in front, but Hamilton scored some good goals. We’ve said often enough they are as competitive as any team in the League and it’s important we try and make them defend and ask questions of them. It’s always a tougher game when it’s away from home – I feel for loads of reasons – and we expect a tough game. They’ll be confident off the back of a very good performance at Dens Park. We want to continue our good form at the start of the season, hopefully follow up on last week’s win against Ross County and hopefully get all three points.

“Everyone is fit. We had a couple of boys who had some wee knocks from the last game with Stevie May, Ryan Christie and Scott Wright needing a bit of treatment, but all three have trained today and will travel tomorrow.”

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Dons have to settle for a point : Live

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Dons have to settle for a point

November 4, 2017 7:35 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes made one change to the starting XI with Gary Mackay-Steven replacing Scott Wright.

Despite this being a venue Aberdeen struggled at last season the Dons came into the game with confidence as they had won nine of their last 10 Premiership games on their travels. Also Hamilton were without a win in their last five home games, although a Accies 3-1 win over Dundee ended a run of eight games without a victory.

Aberdeen enjoyed some good possession in the early stages. In the fourth minute Logan might have done better after receiving a one two from Mackay-Steven inside the area. McKenna then knocked down a free kick but Steven May got the ball stuck under his feet.

On 8 minutes Shinnie cleverly set Stewart free on the right. He twisted and turned past his marker but his cross was easily cut out by the keeper at the near post. Christie then had a shooting chance but fired well over.

The Dons were certainly on top at this stage but lacking a bit of quality in the final third.

On 14 minutes Christie and May could not quite combine on the edge of the area. Christie was certainly seeing a lot of the ball despite being closely shadowed by Darian MacKinnon.

After 17 minutes some hesitation allowed Rojano a shooting chance which he thankfully wasted. But Aberdeen then firstly gave away possession and then gave away a free kick about 20 yards. Dougie Imrie took a shot which appeared to have gone through the wall and also went past Lewis into the net.  Straight away there was an inquest into what happened with the Aberdeen defensive wall.

On 21 minutes it was very nearly two.

A long ball over the top, something Aberdeen have struggled to deal with in the past on this pitch, found Templeton and he looked certain to score as the ball sat up nicely for him and he lobbed Lewis. The big keeper though had kept himself big and managed to jump high enough to tip the lob to safety. A really good save.
Hamilton’s confidence was growing and a few minutes later the same player missed another golden opportunity when he was picked out from a cross on the right. He actually had time to take a touch but instead tried to steer a volley into the top corner and could not quite get the direction. Two massive let offs for Aberdeen and they made the home side pay less than a minute later.

Captain Shinnie played a delightful low ball down the channel for Stewart who got the wrong side of his marker. The winger then showed great composure to dink the ball over Woods into the empty net.

A first league goal for Greg who had another very encouraging afternoon.

Back came Hamilton. The Dons had another escape when they failed to deal with a corner. There was a stramash inside the area and Arnason did very well to use his body on the ground to make a couple of blocks before the ball bounced to safety.

On 33 minutes Aberdeen wasted a golden chance to take the lead. From a throw in Shinnie and Stewart worked an opening for a cross. The skipper put over a teasing ball across the six yard line but frustratingly Logan nor GMS could get a touch. Shay really should have scored after taking up a great position.  

Mackinnon then had a low shot which Lewis held onto and then a header from Rojano was straight a Lewis. Two good openings again though for Hamilton and the Aberdeen defence were not looking comfortable. They were probably not happy with what was happening in front of them as well because the Dons were sloppy in possession.

Mackinnon, not for the first time in his career, was the first player to be booked on 38 minutes. From the resulting free kick McKenna caused a problem but the ball broke kindly for the home side. Seconds later GMS created an opening for Christie who fired just over. Gary had done well to stay on his feet after a trailing leg appeared to catch him inside the area. Had he gone down referee Andrew Dallas would have had a decision to make.

Mackinnon was then lucky to get away with another foul on Mackay-Steven as tempers started to boil over.  
On 42 minutes Aberdeen won their first corner. A minute later they won a second corner and May picked out the run of Arnason but his header at the first post was mistimed. Kari’s reaction suggested he should have done better.

A very entertaining and open first 45 minutes and Aberdeen would have not have been unhappy to go into the break on level terms.

HT: Hamilton Accies 1 Aberdeen 1

At the start of the second half Mackay-Steven put over a couple of good balls from the left. The second of which found May but his header went over.

Aberdeen had started the half well and for the first time in the game enjoyed a bit of control. McLean saw a shot deflected behind for a corner. On 56 minutes GMS and Stewart linked up down the right. It was the first time Gary had really had the chance to stretch his legs and use his pace, his cross though for May was headed clear by Tomas.

On the hour mark Aberdeen very nearly took the lead. A May corner was flicked on by Stewart at the near post and it forced Woods to make a very good reaction save. Arnason then forced a second corner and after losing out on a couple of 50-50 challenges on the edge of the area, suddenly Hamilton had a two on two break. They worked the ball to Templeton. He set himself before sliding a shot inches past the post.

Aberdeen were then caught out again. Darren Lyon got in between Logan and Arnason and just had Lewis to beat. The big keeper did well to force him wide and very a very tight angle Lyon could only hit the side netting.
Back came Aberdeen. May had a shot which was very well blocked by Skondras – the strike would certainly have troubled Woods. Then a Christie cut back found May but his flicked effort landed on the roof of the net.

This was still anyone’s game.

Hamilton then enjoyed a good spell and were beginning to look the more likely to score. The Dons defence were doing just enough to keep them at bay. The Accies midfield were getting on top.

To turn things around it took a really good tackle from Shinnie on the half way line to get Aberdeen going forward again. From the same move Shinnie was then taken down and won a free kick 25 yards out. Great aggression from the skipper. Christie and May stood over it. In the end they appeared to get in each other’s way and Christie could only hit the wall before firing the rebound wide. Ryan had not really been able to get himself into the game in the second half and was understandably getting frustrated.

However seconds later the visitors were going to make much better use of their next set-piece. On 73 minutes Stewart won Aberdeen a corner. May took it and found Arnason around six yards out. His downward header had enough power on it to beat the keeper and the defender on the line. On his 50th appearance for the club, Kari had put the Dons ahead.

The lead did not last long.

David Templeton, who had been the best player on the park, drilled a low shot right into the corner past Lewis. Again there was an inquest in the defence as a simple lay off had allowed the shooting chance.

Frustratingly there had not been time for the manager to put on the likes of Reynolds or Considine to help see out the game.

With ten minutes to go Gary Mackay-Steven was replaced by Adam Rooney. Hamilton also put on Rakish Bingham as both teams went for the win. Greg Docherty looped a chance over the bar but then after that
Aberdeen managed to build some pressure.

With a minute to go Steve May was replaced by Nicky Maynard.

Aberdeen put over some good crosses in the three minutes of added time. Christie put over a great ball which looked certain to be headed in by someone but the situation was very well defended by Hamilton. The Dons showed some much needed urgency in the closing stages but they could not force a winner.

In the end you have to say a draw was a fair result.

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