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Partick Preview | Manager’s Press Conference

August 24, 2017 5:12 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

The Managers Pre Match Media Conference | Derek McInnes Quotes

RedTV | to watch the manager's conference in full please click here

“I have a high regard for Alan Archibald’s teams.

“Partick have not had the start they would have anticipated in the league.

“They have had some difficult fixtures so it has been a tough start. But there is no doubting they are a good side and on their day are one of the most difficult opponents in the league.

“I watched them play St Johnstone in the League Cup. I thought they were very good on the night and deservedly got through that game.

“Thistle, similar to Dundee last week, it will not be too long before they get their first win in the league and get up and running. We just hope that it is after the international break.

“There is a familiarity about Alan’s team. He has a lot of players who have been there a long time. They have made a couple of good signings and I think they will be searching for that top six spot. I think they will be in amongst it.

“We know there is a challenge there for us on Saturday.

“I am pleased with getting maximum points from the three games and getting ourselves into the next round of the cup. We are still aware though that we have improvements to make and we hope to see that in the game on Saturday.

“Hopefully an even better performance can help us get the three points.

“There was an honestly from the players that we could have been better last week (against Dundee). I thought we gave Dundee too much encouragement. And Dundee played well. No team are just going to give you the points. It was a reminder that we need to stay on top of teams. We had opportunities to get a second goal. Dundee had opportunities, too many to my liking. We will have loads of games this season when we play very well but don’t get what we deserve. I thought though we deserved to win the game because of the strike from Stevie. I thought our work rate against the ball was relentless. And the honesty from the team has always been with us. The players worked extremely hard but the performance could have been a bit slicker.

“It is though still early on in the season and we know there is room for improvement. If you can keep winning games whilst you strive for that improvement then that is a sign of a good team.

“We were pleased to get the three points and we will look for those improvements as we go along.

“I am very relaxed about it (my team selections). A team like us needs good options. I think the case in point last week was the players who came off the bench helped us win the game. I thought the threat of Maynard and Stewart caused different problems.

“Everyone recognises we can’t do what we want to do this season with eleven players.

“I can though only pick eleven players each time. I have got good options. Some areas are stronger than others and that is just the way it is for most teams. I hope that players dictate whether they play or not through performance.

“It is always disappointing not to have anyone involved in the Scotland squad but that disappointment is less because you are now not anticipating players to be in. It is difficult to get in with the squad. I have said before that the players will just have to be that bit more patient and need to keep their own performances high.

“In the U21s we are delighted that both Scott Wright and Scott McKenna have been called up. It is a good boost for both lads and well deserved.

“I think we are getting far more rounded performances from Scott (Wright). He is well aware of his positional sense. His ability to take people on and be really positive is something he has always had. He is now getting that maturity and the biggest factor is confidence. I think Scott feels now that he is a first team player rather than just watching others play. It has been difficult over the past few years for the younger wide players to get in with Hayes and McGinn playing but the confidence Scott got from the last game against Partick Thistle, he has now taken that on.

“He started behind a bit this season because he got injured with Scotland so he missed the first few weeks of pre-season but he is gradually getting there. I think he will have a big impact for us during the campaign.

“He has had the opportunity to play in the first team and feel good about himself. He has picked up a decent amount of experience over the last little while. The challenge of Scott now is to play on a regular basis. It is a similar challenge the senior players have as well.”

“Who knows what will happen (with the transfer window). Hopefully we can finish this round of games with a win on Saturday and have no injuries. I am happy with the way the squad is shaping up. But you are never totally surprised if people come asking for your players. One or two of the younger fringe players might go out (on loan). If the window shuts with this squad of players then I will be happy.

“Everyone is fit for Saturday and ready to go.”

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Dons win seven goal thriller at Firhill : Live

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Dons win seven goal thriller at Firhill

August 26, 2017 10:09 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

A late Adam Rooney header ensured Aberdeen will go into the international break with maximum points from their first four league games after a pulsating afternoon at Firhill.

Adam Rooney came off the bench to get the deftest of touches from a Ryan Christie cross, which turned out to be the seventh and final goal in a remarkable game of football.

Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that defeated Dundee at Pittodrie last week with Greg Stewart and Scott Wright coming in for Gary Mackay–Steven and Mark Reynolds.

Double goal hero from last weekend, Stevie May immediately tested Thomas Cerny in the Thistle goal with a curling effort after 18 seconds, but Cerny was comfortable.

On the final day of last season, The Dons put six past Partick with Ryan Christie opening the scoring on that occasion. After only seven minutes today he fired the Dons into the lead. After good link-up play between Stevie May and Shay Logan on the wing, Logan fired in a shot come shot that landed at the feet of Christie. Ryan was quick to react and found space in the penalty area. He took his time and before coolly slotting the ball past Thomas Cerny into the bottom corner.

The Dons fans weren’t able to enjoy the celebrations for too long because within minutes it was all-square. Graeme Shinnie, gave the ball away in the final third with a slack pass and Chris Erskine was able to get a shot away from the edge of the box that evaded Joe Lewis for 1-1. It was a well placed shot from Erskine but a poor goal from an Aberdeen perspective.

Straight after the restart Christie was back in the box after some good play. He beat his man on the by-line and went down, claiming he was tripped, but the referee Bobby Madden waved away his protests. It looked a very strong penalty shout.

Partick then went up the park and took the lead in the 12th minute. After needlessly giving away a corner, the ball ricochet off Kenny Mclean in the six-yard box and Lewis was reacted well to save, but Kris Doolan pounced and fired the hosts into the lead.

The Dons will have felt aggrieved to be behind as Thistle had only been in their penalty area twice.

As the game continued to be played at a real pace, some good play upfront forced the first Aberdeen corner. Greg Tansey delivered a dangerous ball into the box that bobbled around, but Thistle defended well and Christie had his shot fall to Greg Stewart, but he was offside.

Aberdeen continued to search for the equaliser and May and Wright were looking sharp. After a quick give and go, May cut in from the left and fired another low effort towards goal, but Cerny once again held on well.

It was looking more like a basketball match with both teams having possession in dangerous areas, although nothing serious was created as the defences stayed firm.

Andy Considine and Conor Sammon accidently clashed heads, with Andy being forced into the treatment room to get bandaged up. This left the Dons down to 10 men temporarily, although Kenny Mclean filled in at the back until Andy returned.

A series of Dons corners forced the Thistle defence to block. Firstly, McLean had a goal-bound shot blocked, then Cerny fumbled, but Thistle cleared as the Dons pressed.
 
In the 36th minute Aberdeen passed up a great opportunity to equalise. McLean whipped in a free-kick from the right and an unmarked Greg Stewart couldn’t direct his header goalward.

Partick were looking good value for their lead however and could have extended it minutes later. Doolan found space just inside the box, but his header wasn’t strong enough to test Lewis. It was worrying how he was able to win the header. The Aberdeen defence struggled all afternoon to deal with the aerial threat from Thistle, particularly from set plays.   

At the other end the pace of the Aberdeen attacks were frightening at points throughout the afternoon and with five minutes of the half remaining Christie was able to get himself into the box. Although he was moving away from goal, Stuart Bannigan carelessly pushed Ryan in the back and Bobby Madden after some thought pointed to the spot. With usual penalty taker Adam Rooney watching on from the bench, Kenny McLean stepped up, sent Cerny the wrong way and calmly placed the ball in the back of the net to put Aberdeen back on level terms.

The Dons very nearly went in at the break with the lead. And what a goal it would have been. McLean picked out Christie with a dinked pass and Ryan’s first time acrobatic effort was heading for the top corner, but Cerny at full stretch tipped over. A superb effort and a very good save. From the corner McLean fired over from close range and the referee soon brought a fantastic first half to a close.

HT. Partick Thistle 2 Aberdeen 2

The second half started in a similar fashion as the first. Both teams looked lively and Stevie May would have been baring down on goal had he not been hauled down by Martin Keown. Keown picked up a yellow card for his troubles.

Scott Wright had tortured Partick in that 6-0 thumping in May with a hattrick and he was once again enjoying the Firhill stage. In the 51st minute he linked up well with May and took the ball onto his right foot. He looked up and from around 23 yards hit a beautiful curling effort that beat Cerny and found the top corner of the net. A truly
magnificent goal from Scott.  

Derek McInnes would have been keen to ensure his side remained focussed after taking the lead, but once again they were pegged back within minutes. Thistle forced a corner after the restart and Martin Keown was unmarked to place a downward header into the back post and into the goal. It was another excellent delivery from Blair Spittal and Keown managed to peel away from his markers with easy. Another soft goal from an Aberdeen perspective who were losing the height battle in the area.  

The Dons had worked so hard to regain the lead, this was very frustrating.

The game was once again really open and both teams were taking advantage of the good pitch to have some decent spells of possession.

Lewis was called into action on the hour mark as he tipped over a deflected effort and now it was Thistle that looked the more likely at this stage.

On 63 minutes Greg Stewart made way for Rooney as the Dons went two up front to try and regain the lead, but firstly to try and regain control of the game.

It proved a brilliant substitution and tactical move.

Instantly Rooney and May linked up well and had it not been for Jordan Turnball bringing Christie down, they would have been in. From the free-kick Stevie May tried a long dipping effort that went well over, but it was encouraging signs that Aberdeen weren’t done yet.

On 67 minutes Wright became the latest player to pass up a great chance to take the lead. He once again cut in from the left and through sheer persistence found space in the box, but got his shot all wrong and blazed over from 12 yards.

Aberdeen then had a succession of corners with no end product. The latter was a dangerous low cross from Tansey that somehow managed to evade every player in the box and Thistle cleared.

Although Thistle were competing very well physically, it was the Dons that had become the dominant side by this stage and Christie tested the busy Cerny with a low shot and the ‘keeper was left scrambling to tip wide for a corner.

Stevie May looked as desperate as anyone to get help find the winner and covered at least 50 yards to track back and disposes the Thistle midfield, which then nearly started an attack for the men in blue. May was then subbed in the 83rd minute for Nicky Maynard and the Englishman chased down every ball alongside Rooney, which had the Thistle on the back foot.

Their hard work finally paid off in the 86th minute when the Dons took the lead to incredibly make it 4-3. After a spell of possession in dangerous territory, Christie whipped in a brilliant ball from the right, Rooney read the cross and made sure he get the faintest of touches to take it away from Cerny and send the 2014- strong travelling Red Army into pandemonium.

Immediately Derek McInnes tightened up at the back and Mark Reynolds came on for Wright to make sure there wasn’t going to be another piece of drama.

As the Dons held onto possession, Thistle became frustrated and Keown – who was already on a booking – caught McLean late and was given his marching orders in injury-time.

After some more nervous moments Bobby Madden blew the final whistle and brought the curtain down on a match that was a terrific advert for Scottish football, but more importantly Aberdeen got the win and we go into the international break being the only side in the top-flight with maximum points.

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