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Ross County Preview

November 26, 2015 3:00 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Ross County Preview

Tony Docherty & Danny Ward previewed Saturday’s clash with Ross County on Thursday

Tony Docherty

“It is always a difficult venue to go down and play at Hamilton. We probably did not play at our best. It is a sign of a good team when you don’t play well but at least take one point which we did last week. We have analysed the performance and we now look forward to a home game on Saturday against a Ross County team who are doing well.

“We managed to get to watch County’s last game, they got a good win against Motherwell, their first win in four. They have done great this season under Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds who are good friends of ours. It is a difficult game as we found out when we played them recently in Dingwall so we know what to expect. We are a well organised team. They are well drilled. They have good individuals and they play to their strengths. We know we will have to be at our best to pick up maximum points on Saturday. It is a good fixture as it is two attacking teams. It should be an exciting encounter.

“We have worked hard this week and the boys have been fantastic in training. We have a confident bunch of players and they are desperate to get back to winning ways. Everyone is working hard to make it happen. I thought we were fantastic last time at Pittodrie against Dundee United. Hopefully we can have a repeat of that performance.

“Everyone trained today. Ryan Jack is doing well but the game on Saturday might just come a bit too soon. He is running now and is looking strong so we are hopeful we will have him back sooner rather than later.

“I think is worth remembering we are one point better off than we were at this stage last season.

“We think we have improved the squad from last year but you can’t stand still. We will always look to identify areas where we can strengthen and get better.

“The financial results announced last week were encouraging. First and foremost it lets you know that you are at a good club with a sound financial footing. Secondly it tells you that the paying public are coming along to watch your team play which is always great. We always try and play an entertaining brand of football and hopefully the fans will come out in good numbers on Saturday to see that. There is nothing more exciting than seeing wingers taking on full backs and putting crosses into the box. We are trying to produce that brand of football and if people are coming along to watch in good numbers so much the better. And if that is helping to generate income for the club, it is heartening for us to hear that.

“It does help make the club more attractive to potential new signings. The supporters we have at this club though are one of the biggest selling points. The fans need to know just how important they are.”

Danny Ward

“Saturday is another 90 minutes and another game we look to win. Ross County have done well this season and the league table reflects that. It was a tough game up in Dingwall when we played them there. They get in your face and make life very difficult for you. We know what they are about and we will be prepared.

“We have won four points from the last two games. Hamilton is a tough place to go but we were disappointed not to get the win but we have not been beaten in the last two games. I feel we are slowly getting back to the form we had at the start of the season. We have to be positive going into the game on Saturday.

“Winning eight games on the bounce and then not winning from six matches is strange at any level. But we are still better off than we were at this stage last season and we look to kick on again now.

“As footballers you want to do as well as you can. The more success you get and the more games you win, the more pressure you are going to be under. That is something we are going to have to learn to deal with.

“We have a good group of lads in that changing room and we all have confidence in each other’s ability. As I say we have taken four out of six points but the demands we put on ourselves, the demands the manager and the staff put on us, we feel we should be winning six from six going into Saturday.

“Our home record has been decent. We have only lost one game at home all season.

“I have not thought about what will happen next season (after my loan spell finishes). All I am thinking about is the Ross County game on Saturday. I am concentrating fully on the match. As long as I am up here I want to do my very best for Aberdeen.

“I had a couple of days training with Liverpool just after the last international break. The gaffer was kind enough to give me a couple of days off. This allowed me to keep my face in and use it as a way of an introduction to the new manager Jurgen Klopp.
“He just told me to keep doing what you are doing up there and keep trying to impress and do well for Aberdeen. He is keeping an eye on me and has spoken to all the players who are out on loan at home and abroad and that is very encouraging as a young player. You know he will always have people watching you and he will follow your progress.

“The most important thing for me was to go to a club where I would get matches. Aberdeen took a punt on me as most people did not know a lot about me. The exposure I have had up in Scotland has been fantastic and I am hoping I can keep putting the performances in on the pitch and doing well for this club. If it means the manager in Liverpool takes notice of me then that is brilliant.”


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Aberdeen 3 Ross County 1

November 28, 2015 8:46 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Aberdeen 3 Ross County 1

It was retro day at Pittodrie and the Dons put in a vintage performance in the second half to earn the three points. Ross County scored early on through Craig Curran. He produced a good finish but it was a poor goal from the Dons point of view. The rest of the first half was a struggle but the players deserve enormous credit for brilliantly turning the match around in the second period with Niall McGinn the main catalyst. Niall set up Adam Rooney five minutes into the second half. Then minutes later Jonny Hayes, who also had a very good game, saw his looping cross land up in the back of the net. With fifteen minutes to go County had a chance to equalise when substitute Alex Schalk’s close range header was brilliantly turned away by Danny Ward. In the closing stages Niall McGinn got the goal he deserved when he converting a clever pass from Kenny McLean. 

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match report

Aberdeen started with Ward in goal, a back four of Considine, Reynolds, Quinn and Logan. Shinnie and Flood were in central midfield with Hayes on the left, McLean on the right and McGinn played in a central role in behind Rooney.

In the early stages Ross County forced a corner in the first minute. The game was quite frantic and never really settled down throughout the first half. There was very little pattern to the play. After 5 minutes a good attacking move by County allowed full back Marcus Fraser to get into the box but captain for the day Mark Reynolds dis well to come across and cover. The Dons first opening came after 10 minutes. McGinn flicked the ball on but just failed to find Rooney.

On 11 minutes a free kick to County in a dangerous area but the Dons defence cleared. Then a minute later a free kick to Aberdeen in a good area; the ball broke off Quinn and fell to Rooney but his snap shot went over. A half chance for Adam. On 14 minutes the Dons lost the ball in the middle of the park when Flood and Reynolds seemed to get in each other’s way. The visitors broke and Craig Curran was then played. He was in a position wide of the target when he collected the ball so had to produce a good finish to beat Ward and Logan who was trying to get back to cover. A disappointing goal from the Dons point of view as they had chances to stop the attack.

On 16 minutes the Dons went very close to an equaliser. Good play by Hayes saw the ball being played across the face of goal and Considine just failed to connect properly at the back post and keeper Woods was able to gather. On 19 minutes a McGinn free kick was met by Rooney but the striker could not direct his header on target. Again another half chance for Adam.

The visitors then started to frustrate the Dons and won a dangerous free kick 20 yards out after 25 minutes. Jackson Irvine pulled his shot wide though. On the half hour mark County produced a good break. Curran had plenty of space and time but over hits his cross. 

Aberdeen changed it tactically on the half hour mark and put Niall wide and McLean into the middle. On 34 minutes better from Aberdeen. McGinn did well down the left and weaved past a few defenders. He cut inside but his ball to the back post failed to find anyone.

36 minutes in and a strange moment when Willo Flood was fouled just outside the area. Willo handled the ball as he went to ground so referee Beaton awarded County the free kick in a very good centre area. Martin Woods hammered the ball in but his effort was poor, hit the wall and Aberdeen cleared.

On 44 minutes Aberdeen gave the ball away again and Reynolds did well in the end to put the ball behind. It
was a frustrating first 45 from the Dons who never got going. At the other end the movement of Boyce was causing problems.


County had a good opening at the start of the second half and a very dangerous cross from the left went right across the six yard box and Reynolds was well positioned to knock the ball behind. From the resulting corner the ball fell to captain Andrew Davies and his effort just went wide.

The fans were getting anxious but the players then brilliantly turned the game around with a superb second half display. On 50 minutes Niall McGinn produced a great turn and run down the left. His cross was just behind Hayes but the ball came through to Adam Rooney. Adam was completely unmarked but still produced a good finish, firing high into the net which gave the keeper absolutely no chance. Pittodrie then erupted again a couple of minutes later when the Dons took the lead. Jonny Hayes was played in by a good pass from McGinn. Jonny chipped in a cross which looped over the keeper, hit the back post and went in. Jonny’s reaction immediately let you know it was a cross and not a shot, but no one cared! The Dons were suddenly 2-1 up.

On the hour mark County, who looked a bit shell-shocked, had a good little spell of pressure but Aberdeen were defending with more confidence. The tempo of their play was also a lot better. They looked a different team. On 72 minutes Boyce went down and County had another free kick in a good area. Substitute Schalk took it but fired well over. As the visitors put more bodies forward there was more space for McGinn, Hayes and co to run into. On 74 minutes Hayes played in McGinn who had a shot from close range but keeper Woods made a good save.

With fifteen to go a big moment. An quite outstanding stop from Danny Ward. Liam Boyce met a cross from the right and his header was on target from close range but the keeper kept it out with a great reflex save.
A minute later back came the Dons with a good spell of pressure. They had a couple of half chances before a McLean header at the near post from a corner just went over. On 79 minutes Aberdeen went close again. Great play by Hayes who left his marker for dead from a standing start but his shot hit the outside of the post and the side netting.

Then on 80 minutes man of the match McGinn scored a third. Rooney started the move on the half way line, he played it to McLean who played a clever pass towards Niall. The striker got to the ball ahead of Foster and produced a good low finish across the keeper to make the game save. Three very good goals and all from open play.

On 83 minutes Rooney almost grabbed his second, after good play by Shinnie down the left. On 85 minutes Craig Storie replaced Willo Flood who got a great reception from the fans as he left the field. Craig has had a really tough time with injuries over the last couple of years but he is a midfielder with huge talent and deserved a run out today for his performances recently with the U20s. With virtually his first touch Craig had to clear the ball off the line. Apart from that moment the Dons saw the game out comfortably. 


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