Jim Goodwin | Hibernian Reaction
It was honours even at Easter Road this afternoon. Manager Jim Goodwin spoke to the press after the game.
“We’ve secured our place in this league now, but let me assure you, that’s not an achievement we’re celebrating. We didn’t come to Easter Road for a draw, we approached it as a game that was there to win.
“I thought we were very good first half, I thought we were in control, dominated possession. We didn’t work their goalkeeper enough but we showed good energy, pressed them high up the pitch, denied then any space. But as has been the case too often, we didn’t punish them by scoring goals.
“Second half, I didn’t think we reached those levels again. Credit to Hibs, they changed things a little bit and were the better team in the second 45. I don’t think either side can have too many arguments about the final result.
“My only frustration is that at 1-0, we had a couple of decent opportunities to finish the game and we didn’t take them. Jonny Hayes put a great ball across the face and Vinnie Besuijen was unlucky not to get a touch, then David Bates headed over. Christian Ramirez had a chance to get in on goal immediately after coming on, but unfortunately his touch let him down. The chances were there, but I think the result was fair enough.”
The Dons were grateful to skipper Joe Lewis who made a couple of superb saves, much to the delight of his manager.
“Across the season, we’ve conceded too many goals and when that happens, the goalkeeper tends to get criticised, often unfairly. We score and concede goals as a unit. But let me say that without Joe and his saves at 0-0, we wouldn’t have beaten Dundee last week and today, we certainly wouldn’t have been coming away with a point had it not been for a great save in the first half from Melkersen and then a really brave one from Newell in the second half.”
Calvin Ramsay missed out on the game, but Goodwin explained his absence was largely precautionary.
“Calvin had a little niggle, he wanted to play but I didn’t see the point of risking him to be honest. He might be ready for Wednesday after having this weekend, but we have to be mindful that he’s still a teenager and this is a hard, physical league. He’s had a great season, had the recognition he deserves, but we also need to protect him at times. Had I played him today and his calf had gone under the strain, he’d have had six weeks injured through the summer and I’d rather him get his rest and be raring to go on the first day of pre-season than have that situation.”
Though there are still two games to play this week, inevitably thoughts are turning towards next season and the make up of the Aberdeen squad for 2022/23.
“I’m still learning about this group. Six of the nine subs have been told they won’t be getting a new contract offer or are surplus to requirements, and as always at this time of year, that creates a bit of frustration. I want to be honest with people and give then time to sort themselves out for next season.
“Today, I picked a starting XI who are all under contract for next season and have something to play for, as I explained to them before the game. They’re playing for their jersey next season, I wanted them to go and show me they deserve to be in the XI, that they want to be here and be a part of it. I felt I got a good reaction from them.”