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Aberdeen v Kilmarnock | preview

December 5, 2016 7:30 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Aberdeen v Kilmarnock | preview

Derek McInnes |

“We did a lot of things right in the game on Saturday,

“But in any game you play it’s all about trying to take opportunities when they come along, in some games you get more opportunities than in others. I think certainly when you go to a place like a full house at Ibrox, where you are trying to get 49,000 fans edgy, I think to an extent we did that.

“I thought we were very good, what we did against the ball and we were looking for more opportunities from some of our play but the second half we had a real chance with big Jayden but these are moments in the game that can decide the outcome.

“I am disappointed that we lost the game, so a very disappointing week first losing the cup final against a good team and then losing to Rangers who have a very strong home record. There was a lot of right about the performance with still things we could do better and that’s what we aim to do now.

“A tough week, but it’s important we all stay calm. After two defeats in Glasgow now we’re home, we’ve not been home since October so it’s good to get back to Pittodrie, we’ve got three home games we want to try and get three wins.

“It’s all about concentrating on what we need to concentrate on and a home game against Kilmarnock gives us a good opportunity (to do that and to get back to winnings). Kilmarnock are obviously doing well at the minute. I think Lee Clark got them going but it is a home game and only Celtic have beaten us here this season so we want to make sure we continue our strong home form. We do have that opportunity over the next three games.

“First game first though, that’s our focus and hopefully that sets us up for the next one and hopefully at the end of the three home games we will be sitting second in the league – something we are aiming to do.

“I know we won the game 4-0 down there, we were very good on the day, but I said prior to the game I thought Kilmarnock had improved this season, they look confident going into games to get results, I watched the game this morning against Dundee and they were very comfortable winners. Coming here I think they will be confident but also aware they are in for a tough game.

“We had two wins going into the cup final playing a certain way with the same team, we went with the same team for both those games and then we lost the cup final and that can happen when you play a team like Celtic.

“We changed the system to play against Rangers and to an extent it worked, against the ball they never got any real rhythm into their game and I thought we did a lot of good things so again we’ll use the squad and pick the team we think is right. I get to see the players everyday so every day is an opportunity for the players, not just what they do on a Saturday.

“We’ve been in a cup final and sitting in second spot up until the last couple of games and we can bounce straight back up there by getting some wins. We’ve still got a lot of good things going on here, I know people are disappointed, the fans have had a tough nine days or so and I get that. I feel for them as well but it is important that we all just stick together and make sure we get some wins on the board so that we came out of December in a good shape.

“It will challenge the supporters being able to get here, playing so many games in the one month, especially with Christmas when money is at a premium. I think it will be a big ask for the supporters to come to each and every game but hopefully the ones who do come along will see our team winning again and that’s the plan for tomorrow night.

“Losing Ryan for tomorrow night was disappointing. Disappointing in the last few seconds of the game so it’s even more frustrating from that point of view because Ryan was very good in the game. So we are without him tomorrow night, he’ll serve that suspension and he’ll miss out and it will be someone else’s opportunity to come in.

“Everybody has a role to play as December will test the squad. Some players will play more often than others and that’s just the way it is at any club round the country but some players make more of opportunities and like I said every day is an opportunity for them to show themselves but we out our squad together for exactly the type of scenario we are going to be facing now in December.

“Whatever changes we do make, if any, then it’s up to people to come in and stake a claim to start the next game. I’ve always been one that’s looked at form, looked at where we are in training and then tried to pick our team. That will continue.

“There has been no update on James’ situation, we will speak with Norwich in due course and I think it’s important we concentrate on the games at the minute. Obviously there is a lot of work behind the scenes going on, looking at potential players who might come in, one or two moving out. For now though, I think it’s important for myself and the players to concentrate on winning games for the club.

“I like home games under the lights and hopefully we can take full advantage of that, I think we are used to playing at home, we enjoy playing at home, none more so than mid-week games, so hopefully we can concentrate on the game in hand and hopefully pick up three points and get us feeling good about ourselves again and then we’ll look forward to the next home game.

“I think it’s a busy period for all teams but especially for ourselves, it’s really concentrated.

“We’ve got eight games in December, most team have six left and I do think by the end of December the league will take shape more than what it is at the moment. So, it’s important we come out of that happy with our work and looking forward to the second part of the season when we come back from winter break, I don’t think anything will be decided in December but when games come thick and fast like that it’s important to maximise (the points available). We’ve always had decent focus in December, it’s a decent month for us and hopefully that can continue.  

“Just Ryan that is suspended everyone else is fit and well from the weekend, everyone is good to go.”


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Dons bounce back in style

December 6, 2016 10:51 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Dons bounce back in style


REDTV MATCHDAY CENTRE | the full game, highlights, the goals, post match interviews | click here

With The Dons looking to bounce back from double disappointment in Glasgow, Derek McInnes made four changes to the starting line-up. Kilmarnock visited Pittodrie off the back of a commanding 2-0 victory over Dundee at Rugby Park which had sent them into the top six.

Ryan Jack missed the match through suspension with Reynolds, Taylor and Stockley dropping to the bench. Rooney, Pawlett, McGinn and O’Connor replaced them.

Joe Lewis retained his place in goal with a back four of Logan, O’Connor, Considine and Hayes. Shinnie started in front of the defence with Maddison and McLean in front of him. McGinn and Pawlett operated closest to Rooney up front.

The first chance of the match fell to the away side when Frizzell floated the ball across for Coulibaly to attack but Hayes in the left-back position tucked in well to do enough to put the striker off.

It was a miserable night at Pittodrie with relentless rain but from the start, the Dons tried to use the slick surface to their advantage with some quick passing interchanges. Hayes also looked a threat when collecting the ball from deep and driving into the Kilmarnock half.

Kilmarnock were combative and looked to disrupt play when they had the opportunity but had another chance to go on the front foot in the 10th minute. The ball fell for Frizzell 25 yards from goal and he unleashed a powerful drive just over the bar. A few minutes later. Rory McKenzie found space 20 yards out and hit a low shot wide of the post.

In the 16th minute, Pawlett picked the ball up inside the Aberdeen half before spinning away and taking out two Kilmarnock players as he moved into the Kilmarnock half. Unfortunately the ref spotted a foul and failed to play advantage, much to the frustration of most in the stadium.

After 20 minutes, the Dons were in front. Maddison slipped the ball inside to Graeme Shinnie 30 yards from goal and he wound up a strike on his right foot. The shot was heading wide but Pawlett was in the right position 12 yards from goal to slide and divert the ball away from MacDonald and into the bottom corner of the net. It was slightly against the run of play but Pawlett was having a real impact on the match.

Moments later, he picked the ball up in a good area again before feeding the ball to Rooney. The striker pushed it wide for McGinn who skipped past his man before drilling the ball low into the area before it was cleared.

In the 27th minute, a cross was partially cleared, falling to Maddison 25 yards out. The youngster shifted the ball to the left and went down before being booked by Stephen Finnie who deemed there to be no contact, or certainly not enough to merit a free-kick for the Dons.

The Dons soon made it 2-0 though when Maddison rifled a cross into the area for Shinnie to attack. He couldn’t get a great connection on it but a kind deflection put the ball towards Pawlett. He managed to get a shot away from six yards which MacDonald saved well, palming the ball up into the air, but unfortunately for the Killie stopper, it fell into the path of O’Connor and he tapped in.

It was not long before Aberdeen made it 3-0 when Hayes drove down the left and into the area before holding off a challenge and slotting the ball past MacDonald at the near post. Hayes had looked a threat all game and it was a fine goal after a trademark run.

The 3-0 scoreline perhaps flattered Aberdeen but they had been clinical and exploited the many gaps that were to be found between the visiting defence and midfield. And there was plenty of space to be found, with Hayes, Pawlett and Maddison finding the ball frequently in dangerous areas. In the 41st minute, it should have been 4-0 when Hayes set-up Maddison one-on-one with MacDonald. He looked for the bottom corner but the keeper was equal to it with a fantastic save to turn the ball behind.

Moments before the half-time whistle, Considine picked up a yellow card after pulling back a blue shirt to stop a Killie counter on the halfway line. 3-0 at half-time and the Pittodrie crowd could only be happy with what they had seen, with the exception of the 111 away supporters who had made the long midweek trip up from Ayrshire.

In the 51st minute, Maddison picked the ball up on the edge of the area and won a free-kick in a central area. The on-loan midfielder took the strike on himself but it was deflected behind for a corner-kick. It was almost his last action of the match before he was replaced by Reynolds.

By this stage, Kilmarnock had made changes of their own as they looked to find a way back into the match but Aberdeen were comfortable enough with sporadic attacks from the away side failing to trouble Lewis. The Dons were looking to add to their lead but couldn’t really trouble MacDonald in a quiet start to the half for both keepers.

On 69 minutes, it was 4-0. McGinn cut inside past two men and saw his initial shot deflected into the path of Rooney. The ball then rebounded to McGinn inside the area and he made no mistake to slot the ball into the bottom corner.

After the goal Aberdeen made their second change as Pawlett was replaced by Burns. There was a standing ovation for Pawlett, well deserved on the strength of his first half performance.

Burns almost had an immediate impact too when he drove away from the Kilmarnock midfield with a pacy run before sliding the ball through to McGinn, but unfortunately the winger could not keep the shot down and it went way off target.

The visiting supporters did have something to cheer when Tyson got in behind before squaring the ball for McKenzie who then slotted the ball past Lewis into the empty net in the 77th minute. It was an avoidable goal from an Aberdeen perspective but it was an effective Killie counter-attack which was taken well. After that goal Aberdeen made their final change as Stockley replaced Rooney.

The Kilmarnock goal was a momentary lapse in the Aberdeen procession to victory as they soon restored the four goal advantage in the 86th minute. Hayes raced onto a flick on from Stockley before rounding the keeper and tapping the ball into the net. His second goal earned him the sponsor’s man of the match award, well deserved and rounding off a comprehensive victory for Aberdeen.

Next up St Johnstone on Saturday at Pittodrie. A repeat performance would do nicely.


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