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Dundee Preview

August 20, 2015 3:50 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

“Josh is a player I have been aware of for a while. He was actually a player I looked at when I was manager of St Johnstone, when he was at QPR. He went off the radar a bit and never really reached his potential. The last couple of years he has managed to get himself going again and we became aware of him again at the back end of last season and we have been monitoring his situation. He is a talented player who can score goals. He has got good flexibility and has also got really good pace. He gives us something different. We are hoping it will be a successful loan for both parties. Hopefully we can give him the stage and platform to go and show us what he has got.

“I feel for the budget that is available to us we have put together the strongest possible squad. That gives me confidence for the demands and the challenges that are ahead.

“Every game brings a different challenge. Dundee will give us a real challenge on Saturday. They did that last year and they have also shown that this season. They were rightly praised for their work last year. There will be greater expectations on them this season with the signings that Paul Hartley has made but they are more than capable of meeting those expectations. We will have to play well if we are to have a chance of getting the points. 

“Last season we drew three games out of four. The game we won down there was actually probably our poorest performance.

“Paul has put together a very good squad. He has got some really good experienced players and he has some youngsters he has taken from the lower leagues. It is a very talented squad. He has players who like to get on the ball and influence a game. Nicky Low falls into that category and we know what he can do. He is a good technical player and is a player who can make a difference in the final third. They have a number of other players who can do the same and that is why they score goals and games against them are normally entertaining. They are a good side, there is no question of that. 

“We back ourselves though against whatever team we come up against, whatever formation we come up against, to find answers so we can win the game and hopefully we can do that on Saturday.

“To win our first four games would be a brilliant start. But it would just be that, a start. It is too early in the season to be getting carried away. There is a lot of hard work ahead.”

“Peter Pawlett and Willo Flood remain doubts for this one but thankfully neither has injuries that will keep them out for too long. This one might come too quick for them but hopefully we can get one of them, if not both, fit for the game. Mark Reynolds meanwhile is recovering well and is probably around five or six weeks away from a return.”

The manager confirmed that there is very unlikely to be any more transfer activity before the window closes in a couple of weeks’ time. Some of the younger players may go out on loan but this can happen after the transfer deadline.

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

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Rooney at the double

August 22, 2015 7:09 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Aberdeen today equalled their best start to a season since 1991-92. They are only one win away from equalling their best ever start to a campaign, which was five in 1984-85. The Dons thoroughly deserved this win. They completely dominated the first half, with Jack and McLean outstanding in the middle of the park, but could not find a way through a solid Dundee defence. For 15 minutes after the break the game was more even and Danny Ward made an excellent block to keep out Hemmings right at the start of the half. Eventually Aberdeen’s patient play was rewarded when a piece of brilliance from Hayes produced a chance for Rooney who scored with a fine header. After that Dundee opened up a bit more but never really looked like scoring, and it was the Dons on the break who looked the more threatening. In injury time Rooney was taken down in the box by Harkins, which led to a red card for the Dundee man and another goal for the Aberdeen player.
Josh Parker made his debut for the club when he came on as a second half substitute.

REDTV | matchday centre |

RedTV | watch the full first half click here (available in GB and Ire after 10.00pm due to SPFL rules)
RedTV | watch the full second half click here (available in GB and Ire after 10.00pm due to SPFL rules)
RedTV | the goals click here (available in GB and Ire after 12.00am due to SPFL rules)
RedTV | the manager post match click here
RedTV | Josh Parker interview click here
RedTV | Adam Rooney interview click here

match report

The Dons went into this match knowing that win would equal the club’s best start to a league season since the 1991/92 campaign. Dundee were hoping to put a spanner in the works and stop that from happening and had certainly shown already this season that they are more than capable of causing teams problems.

Danny Ward kept his place in between the sticks tasked with keeping Stewart and Hemmings at bay. The back four in front of Ward stayed the same with Logan and Shinnie starting the match either side of Considine and Taylor. McLean was given the role of operating alongside Jack with Hayes and McGinn providing the width in midfield. After rotating Rooney and Goodwillie for much of the season so far McInnes opted to start both players with Rooney spearheading the attack and Goodwillie in support.

The tone for the first half was set in the 4th minute when Goodwillie found space in the box, his header drifted wide of the post. McGinn was next to fire in a cross which pick out Rooney, the striker did well to bring the ball down and hook it towards goal but ex Don Scott Bain got down quickly to gather with Goodwillie waiting to pounce.

The only bad moment of what was a very dominant first half performance came in the 7th minute when Jack was booked for a foul on Ross. The Dons skipper was a bit rash with the challenge but will feel that the card was a bit harsh. Considering he had to play almost the whole game with the yellow card in the back of his mind, the skipper was quite outstanding again today. So to was his midfield partner Kenny McLean. 

McGinn was taking the game to Dundee down the right and almost got lucky with a cross, the ball floated towards goal when it was intended for the back post but Bain did well to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Dundee were struggling to deal with crosses and another chance soon presented itself to The Reds when a corner from Hayes was headed just over the bar by Taylor. Shortly after that chance McLean tried his luck from just outside the area but his strike ended up over the bar and in the Merkland Stand.

Plenty of corners were coming the way of the home side and it was Rooney’s turn to get on the end of a delivery from McGinn in the 23rd minute. On that occasion the number 9 couldn’t get a great contact on the ball and glanced his header wide but 3 minutes later he would have another opportunity. This time Rooney got a better contact on the delivery and saw his header loop up over Bain and onto the bar.  

The Dons were completely dominating possession with Dundee offering nothing in an attacking sense but there was perhaps a bit of frustration creeping in with a few wayward attempts from long range at goal. The home side continued to play in the same manner patiently probing at the Dundee defence but were unable to make the breakthrough before the break.

The second half started in complete contrast to the first as Dundee sprang into action. Ward had to move off his line quickly to deny Hemmings with a point blank save. A vital moment in the game. It was the only real save Ward had to make, but it was a crucial one.

That chance was followed up by a tremendous strike from Stewart which hit the side netting from 25 yards. The Dens Park side looked a different team after the interval and Holt was next to have a go but his finish from 25 yards could not match the quality of the run that he had made to get in that position.

After that five minute spell of Dundee pressure the home side slowly but surely clawed their way back into the areas that they were getting into so frequently in the first half. Hayes was having a frustrating time for a spell but showed great quality to lay on an assist for the opener in the 66th minute.

Hayes used his pace to get down the right before clipping the ball into the box for Rooney to head the ball past Bain from 6 yards. The Dons hadn’t been as dominant as they were in the first half but there could be no question that they deserved to be in front.

The visitors had a chance to equalise a couple of minutes later but Stewart’s free-kick flashed across the area with no Dundee players able to get on the end of it.

In the 76th minute it was time for the new boy, Josh Parker, to make his debut for The Dons. The forward replaced Goodwillie who received a good ovation from the Pittodrie crowd after another afternoon full of endeavour.

If the visitors were to equalise it always looked likely that it would be through Greg Stewart and in the 80th minute he had another go from outside the area but was unable to really test Ward. The Dons defence marshalled Stewart well all afternoon. 

Dundee were now throwing more players forward and were leaving gaps at the back. Aberdeen looked to have taken advantage of the more open Dundee set-up when a counter-attack led to McGinn squaring the ball for Shinnie, the full back directed the ball towards goal but Bain was on hand to make a good save.

With just three minutes of normal time remaining Quinn replaced Hayes as the home side looked to counter the increasing number of Dundee bodies heading into the final third. Dundee were going direct now but The Dons defence were dealing with everything pretty comfortably before doubling the lead in the 92nd minute.

Rooney broke away from the halfway line and drove into the box, Harkins brought the striker down to concede a penalty and earn a second yellow card. Rooney grabbed the ball before sending Bain the wrong way to ensure the win. The goals took a while to come but The Dons were ultimately rewarded for their patience with a well-earned 3 points.
 

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