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Kilmarnock Preview | The Manager

September 14, 2017 4:50 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

“Looking forward to it to Saturday.

“We have a 100% record at home in the league. We want that to continue. We will be up against a team who will be coming up here with a game plan to try and get something from the game. There is a challenge. But being at home we want to try and get back to winning ways.

“We were disappointed with the second half performance last week but we take the point without being at our best. We are at home and we want to try and get a better 90 minute performance.

“It is very early in the season. You see a lot of teams have slow starts. I think I am right in saying Kilmarnock have had the biggest turnover of players. Lee has made the most signings and seen the most number of players leave.

“I think with that comes that extra responsibility for everyone to have an understanding. That might well be a factor. When you look at their squad they have some good players. I think last year under Lee they picked up some very good results on the road and the home form, as it has been for a few years, has not been as good as it can be. They are a team who possess good qualities, they have goals in them, they have good experience at the back and they are side, like most of the teams in the league, who on their day can cause a lot of problems.

“It is always harder to second guest a team when their form is not as good. I am sure Lee will have wrote down a few teams this week. He will be searching for the right formula as we all do. What we can expect is a competitive game. The onus is on us to take responsibility to get on the ball and to try and make things happen. To do that we have to play at a tempo that suits us. Hopefully we can bring that level performance that can help us win the game.

“It is very important that with us being at home we show the confidence of a team who are up at the top end of the table.

“Joe Lewis needed to be someone’s number one. He had been a number two and been in and out of teams. I think when you get that regular game time and you find a place to go and do that and be happy with your work, the player you can be comes out. I think we are seeing that with Joe. He has been very good. We get a lot of players who get the plaudits at the top end of the pitch, the ones who can maybe light up a game. There has to be that balance. We don’t call upon Joe too much week in week out but when we do he always answers up. He is a fantastic keeper. He has got everything. What he has developed as well is a real concentration to be ready to make those saves. He has been almost flawless since he signed.

“Team news; Craig Storie and Daniel Harvie are still out and we picked up a couple of little knocks in training. Greg Tansey is feeling his groin a little bit, we hope it is nothing too sinister. And Gary Mackay-Steven felt his ankle. We will see how both boys are tomorrow so they are not ruled out but if you don’t see them playing on Saturday you will know why.

“I have got three strikers there and I think all three can play in a partnership. They all have different qualities but I do think all three have a natural instinct to score goals. As all strikers should have. Nicky, Stevie and Adam can all play as a two as well as a one. There is a challenge to keep everyone happy when everyone is fit across the board. In every area of the field there is competition. I think a club like Aberdeen should have competition and not be too over reliant on the same people. The players are well aware we can’t do what we want to do this season with only 11 players but we can only pick 11 players at any one time. It is up to every player to play a part when they get an opportunity.”
 

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Dons held at home

September 16, 2017 7:33 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

It was honours even at Pittodrie as Aberdeen were held to a 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock, who deservedly took a point back to Ayrshire.

Kari Arnason, Greg Stewart and Nicky Maynard were brought back into the starting XI with Ryan Christie, Dominic Ball and Adam Rooney dropping to the bench. After midweek injury concerns, Greg Tansey and Gary Mackay-Steven made the bench.

Still chasing their first win of the season, Kilmarnock fielded a defensive line-up hoping to keep the back door closed and set up the aim of finding a goal on the break.

The Dons applied some early pressure straight from kick-off with a couple of corners, but neither troubled goalkeeper Jamie Macdonald.

Killie playing 10 men behind the ball, were happy to give up possession. Aberdeen did their best to stretch the game as they looked for an opening.

Their patience paid off after 10 minutes when Graeme Shinnie settled himself at the edge of the box after a decent little move. The skipper fired a bending cross which broke kindly for Stevie May. It was bread and butter for Stevie who control the ball before lashed it home. A deserved lead for The Dons and the perfect start.

At this stage composure was flowing through the team with every belief that more goal were on the way. A couple
of free kicks were won on the edge of the box with Stewart and May trying a shot. Neither came to anything.
Kilmarnock's Jordan Jones had Shay Logan in knots after 18 minutes with a good run forward. He stood it up nicely for Lee Erwin but O'Connor managed to clear the danger.

A minute later Scott Wright was booked for dissent after a foul was given against him. Kilmarnock player Iain Wilson had to leave the field. He was replaced by Hawkshaw. It turned out to be the turning point in the game as the visitors were forced to chance from a back five to a four.

Kilmarnock looked a different team from this point on as they come more and more into the proceedings.

While Stevie May was doing the business at the top end of the pitch, he was also putting in a great shift.

Highlighted when a quick Killie break set up Erwin who was poised to shoot inside the box with Lewis exposed, but Stevie had other ideas sliding in to prevent an equaliser.

Killie had a good spell in the game midway through the first half and called Joe Lewis into action when McKenzie made room for a shot. Big Joe managed to palm the ball wide for the corner, which was dealt with by The Dons.

The game turned scrappy as the half time whistle drew. The Dons started to lose some of the zip they'd been playing with early on and Kilmarnock were beginning to grab a hold of the game. Fortunately, the defence had answers for every threat.

HALF TIME: ABERDEEN 1-0 KILMARNOCK

Not for the first time this season Aberdeen came out of the blocks in the second half slowly and were made to pay.

Kilmarnock levelled the match up shortly after the restart when Jordan Jones had a pop from inside the box on the left hand side. His shot hit Arnason and looped over Joe Lewis. The keeper had no chance. Jones had been Killie's brightest spark and was rewarded for his persistence. The winger had a very fine game.

It still wasn't happening for Aberdeen with an organised Killie side holding firm. Wright created some space for himself on the left and swung a high cross into the box. Stewart couldn't quite get behind it properly with the ball going out for a goal kick.

Killie were playing with confidence, and Jordan Jones continued to cause problems for The Dons' defence. O'Connor made a vital challenge in the six-yard box to deny the winger's shot. It was such a well-timed tackle.

Anthony was probably the pick of the Aberdeen players again today.

The visitors then also went into front from a corner kick when Lee Erwin's header hit the crossbar.
Close to the hour mark Ryan Christie and Gary Mackay-Steven came on for Nicky Maynard and Greg Stewart.

The change of formation saw May play as a lone striker with more bodies in the midfield.

The changes looked effective with Christie driving forward on a number of occasions. Scott Wright looked more comfortable on the wing and was able to cut inside on a couple of occasions. The quality of the crosses was poor today though.

The Dons appeared with fifteen minutes to go to have swung the momentum of the game. Kenny McLean tried a shot from outside the area as Christie and Wright combined on the left. Kenny's drive had too much on it and sailed over the bar.

While Killie were doing their best to slow the game down Aberdeen continued to press high. GMS stood a good cross up but there was nobody in the middle to collect it. Stevie May also tried to double his count with a drive from 35 yards.

Kilmarnock to their credit were defending well with skipper for the day Gordon Greer having a fine game.

It was Adam Rooney time after 83 minutes, with Scott Wright leaving the field.

It was all hands to the pump after that with Aberdeen players busting a gut to get forward and grab a winner. The best chance came when Stevie May's free kick was tipped over the bar by Macdonald. Gary Mackay-Steven won a corner close to the whistle, but May's delivery to the near post was headed by McLean straight at Macdonald.

The mood inside Pittodrie was frustration when the full-time whistle rang out. After such a positive start to the game, Aberdeen lost their way and despite a late surge did not do enough to deserve the three points.

FULL TIME: ABERDEEN 1-1 KILMARNOCK
 

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