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Aberdeen v Rangers Preview | The Manager

April 7, 2017 4:58 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

“Any time you pick up these awards it is a reflection on the good work done by everyone, staff and more importantly the players.

“The players have been fantastic for us and have been really consistent with the results. Performances have been good as well. We are delighted to get recognition for any member of staff, it is normally a fair reflection of the team.

“Everyone contributes to helping the team win on a Saturday. The staff all work extremely hard. The medical staff have been outstanding this year along with Graham Kirk who does the sport science. They have managed to keep injuries to a minimum. They manage to get the boys ready at peak fitness so they can perform to their best every week. The video analysis, the recruitment side of it and our coaches – Tony, Barry and Paul as well as Gordon Marshall who looks after the goalkeepers. We all chip in and we all do our bit to help the players be at their best. It is a team effort. Anything we do achieve we do so as a team.

“We are looking forward to the game. We always look forward to home games. This game in particular is eagerly anticipated by the supporters. We see it as an opportunity to go and keep our winning run going and a chance to pick up another three points. We are up against a team who have a new manager and they have capable players. They have players who in bigger games can bring out a bigger performance. We have to be aware of that. They have goal threats. They have players who can handle the ball well but we are at home and we on a good run. We understand the importance of the three points for ourselves. All that taken into consideration, plus the fact it will be a full house, at this stage of the season it is important we have big games and this feels like a big game and we look forward to it.

“As I said before this team will find its place in history. And people will look back fondly at it. More importantly (than records) we want to finish this season off strongly. We have put ourselves in a good position in the league and cup. Now we need to maximise what we have got. There is work to be done. It is not a case of reflection now, time for reflection is at the end of the season. There is work to be done for us to achieve what we want to achieve this year.

“We have taken the mantle on over the past few season as a team to beat. We are comfortable with that. We have been quite consistent over the past few seasons in terms of our points tally. We want to try and finish the season off strongly and it is important we try and do that. Sometimes it is how you finish a season that defines you. It is important that we try and keep the momentum going. We have a strong run going, especially at home. We have had five clean sheet in a row now and fifteen wins out of seventeen or eighteen games. I think we should feel a pride about, but the time for really looking back is at the end of the season. Hopefully we can keep the form going and it can take us where we want to go.

“Each game is a challenge. Just because we are playing well, no one is just going to give it to us. There are enough good players in the Rangers team. We have won one game against them this season and they have won one. I don’t think there has been a lot in the games. Arguably they were the better team at Pittodrie when we managed to beat them and I thought we were very good in spells at Ibrox but never capitalised on it. I don’t think there is a lot between the teams when we play each other.

“We are 12 points clear with a superior goal difference and I think it is important we try and build on that instead of looking over our shoulder. That is what we have done over the past few weeks when people have tried to apply a bit of pressure. The players have responded and have kept winning games.

“I just hope we can win the game on Sunday. If we score one more goal than Rangers then I will be happy.

“Team news; Jayden Stockley is free of suspension and comes back into the squad. Mark Reynolds is still injured but will join in training next week and we are delighted with that. No new problems from the other night.”
 

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Unbeaten run comes to an end

April 9, 2017 3:59 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

The match started with a frenetic pace and it wasn’t long before the referee had to get his cards out. Ryan Jack won a challenge in the middle of the park with Joe Garner and the Rangers striker didn’t take too kindly to it. A bit of handbags followed as Garner went to ground in an effort to fool the ref but the end result was a yellow card for both players.

Hayes drove towards goal in the 7th minute and got the beating of Bates before taking a strike towards goal, Fotheringham kept it out at the near post.

It was a very open start to the match and Rangers soon had a chance of their own as Waghorn’s shot was deflected into the path of Garner in the area. He stepped inside and beat O’Connor but Lewis was there to prevent a goal as he looked to continue his run of clean sheets. If was a fine block.

The battle was then in the middle of the park as tackles flew in with Aberdeen pressing high up the park. In the 20th minute Rangers had another great chance as Garner found Waghorn in the middle with a cross that split Taylor and O’Connor but the striker was stretching and volleyed over.

In the 24th minute Taylor became the second Aberdeen player to go into the book after he overran the ball in the Rangers half and caught his opponent late.

A few minutes later Garner was at the centre of the action again when he appeared to have caught Lewis from a corner. Kevin Clancy had a word with Garner but no action was taken, presumably a final warning.

The next player to be carded was in a red shirt as Graeme Shinnie brought down Toral to break up a Rangers counter-attack before it had the chance to get started. Aberdeen had started strongly but the visitors had perhaps had the better of the opening half hour but the score remained level.

The Dons then had a chance when Rooney brilliantly flicked the ball on for McLean who hit the byline, his cut back was falling into the path of Shinnie but McGinn got a touch on in which took the ball away and gave Rangers a chance to clear.

The match carried on in a combative manner for the remainder of the half but at half-time it was 0-0 and an intriguing second half lay ahead.

The second half took a while to get going but Aberdeen crafted out a chance in the 50th minute when Hayes sped away from two blue shirts down the right wing, he drove into the box but his delivery was cut out before it eventually made its way to Shinnie. He couldn’t get enough on his shot to beat Foderingham.

That seemed to spark the match into life again and Holt followed his teammate Garner into the book for a late challenge in the middle of the pitch on Shinnie.

Foderingham was called into action again moments later when McLean struck a powerful volley towards goal from 12 yards after the visitors failed to deal with a high cross. Kenny caught his snap shot well but it was close to the keeper and he managed to get behind it.

Aberdeen had upped the tempo and O’Connor showed great initiative to nip in and win the ball on the halfway line before playing the ball into the path of Rooney who did well to get a shot on target but it was saved by Foderingham once again. From a slight angle Adam had gone across the keeper who spread himself well.

The Dons were piling on the pressure after the half time break and Foderingham was called up once again just before the hour mark. Hayes picked up the ball near the halfway line and looped a ball towards the penalty spot which Taylor flicked on for Rooney. The number nine connected well but it was a great save by Foderingham to keep out Aberdeen’s best chance of the game.

Shay Logan was the next player to charge towards the box after getting on the end of a superb long diagonal by O’Connor, Shay’s first touch was perfect and carried him into the box, Rooney peeled away for the cut back but a defender read it and cut the ball out. The Dons remained on top but were yet to take a chance as the match entered the final quarter.

It was pretty much all Aberdeen who were turning the screw and getting into good wide areas but couldn’t find the elusive first goal as a couple of enticing crosses flashed across the six yard box.

The Dons were made to pay for not taking one of those chances.

First substitute Windass should have done better when he found space on the right edge of the area. Aberdeen did not heed the warning and shortly after a shot deflected into the path of Waghorn inside the area, Lewis was on hand to make a great save and push the ball partially clear but Miller was there to hit a great strike towards goal and into the roof of the net. It was a clinical finish and moments later it got worse for The Dons.

Almost straight from the kick-off a slack pass from O’Connor fell to Dodoo and he played the ball through into the gap for Miller to clip the ball past Lewis and into the net. It was a nightmare couple of minutes for Aberdeen.
The Dons made their first change when Stockley replaced O’Connor, it was time to go for broke.

With Aberdeen chasing a goal Dodoo found space down the left and drove towards the area before firing a shot straight into the bottom corner to leave Pittodrie completely shell shocked.

It was a capitulation and could have got worse when Dodoo hit the cross bar in stoppage time, thankfully Considine was there to clear Miller’s rebound off the line and keep it at 3-0.

The Dons had matched the away side for most of the match and grown into it in the second half but had paid the price for a lack of concentration as the match entered its final stages.
 

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