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Match Preview | St Johnstone v Aberdeen

May 10, 2022 4:16 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Match Preview | St Johnstone v Aberdeen

 

Competition: cinch Scottish Premiership
Match: St Johnstone v Aberdeen
Venue: McDiarmid Park
Kick Off: 19:45
TV Coverage: RedTV International & Pay Per View which is available to purchase through St Johnstone. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK subscribers.
Reminder: RedTV subscribers must link their Dons Account to RedTV to access the match coverage. Click here to find out more.
Post Match on RedTV: Reaction at full time, full match replay available from 10.30pm and extended highlights from midnight.

Manager Jim Goodwin sat down with the media via Zoom on Tuesday lunchtime to preview our final away game of the season with St Johnstone. To watch in full on RedTV, please click here.

“There’s always something on the line. There’s always something to play for. There’s professional pride at stake. We want to win the last two games to try and finish the season in as high a position as possible. There’s prize money at stake and players are playing for their futures, whether it’s here or whether it’s somewhere else.

“We’ve got one or two in the squad who are competing to be involved in international duty during the summer as well. There’s always something on the line. We’re not going to just let the last two games fizzle out just because they were mathematically safe. We want to try and go to Perth tomorrow and and win the game. It’s as simple as that. No doubt Callum Davidson will have a similar message to his players because they’ll be wanting to go into the playoffs with a bit of momentum behind them. You often find the team that does the best in those scenarios are the teams that are going into those games on a winning run. There’s plenty to play for both sets of players.

Joe Lewis

“I had a great chat with Joe after training out on the pitch to congratulate him on the last couple of performances. Without him we wouldn’t have picked up the four points that we did. At the weekend he made two really good saves, his first one was a brilliant save around the post, in the first half, and the second one was very, very brave to get out the way he did and narrow the angle. Joe has had a disappointing season, he admits that himself. He doesn’t need anybody to tell him that but he’s big enough, strong enough and experienced enough to know these things happen. Confidence plays a big part but he is still relatively young in goalkeepers terms and I said that to him today on the training pitch. You only need to look at what Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor are doing at 40 years of age.

“Joe is very fit boy, he looks after himself and he’s in great shape. He’s had a dip in form, but he’s shown in the last couple of games that he’s still a very good keeper.

“I’ve been honest enough with Joe to explain to him that there will be competition in that position next season. I am looking to bring in another keeper. Not necessarily someone to come in and replace Joe but someone to come in and really compete with him because I think in any position, in any team, you need to know that there’s someone there breathing down your neck, and I think that will be healthy in that particular position.

“Joe Lewis has got a couple of years left on his contract here. He’s been a great servant of Aberdeen, and he’s still got plenty left in the tank in my opinion. If he continues to play the way that he did in the last couple of games, there’ll be absolutely no issue whatsoever going forward.

Calvin Ramsay

“He’s still got a calf issue that had ruled him out over the weekend, so tomorrow is going to come too soon. We’ll assess that again on  Thursday and Friday and see if we can get him in the squad for the game on Sunday to finish off the season. There is obviously interest in Calvin. He’s a fantastic young prospect. We were delighted for him the other night when he got the Young Player of the Year at the writers awards. I was led to believe his speech was very, very good for a young man standing up in front of that number of people. We’re delighted for Calvin and we’re delighted that this club gets recognised for giving young lads the opportunity. What will be will be for Calvin, whether he’s here in Aberdeen next year then fantastic. If we get a huge sum of money that meets our valuation, then that might happen as well, but I couldn’t give you anything concrete at the moment unfortunately.

Team News

“Ross McCrorie is out based on the player welfare and the rules around concussion. Ross wanted to stay on the park but the medical team and myself made that decision. The players welfare is the upmost importance for us and that goes ahead of any result. He will miss out tomorrow night. He should be then available for the squad on Sunday, if we follow the rules that are in place, so he’ll join back in with the group at the latter stages of this week and be involved in the game on Sunday against St. Maarten.

“Marley Watkins was a little bit tight coming off, he felt his thigh a wee bit but we expect Marley to be okay for tomorrow. Connor Barron was fine, it was just a precaution more than anything. There was no issue with Connor and  he’s absolutely fine.

“Matty Kennedy will come back into the squad which I’m delighted with. We weren’t expecting Matty back until pre-season but the medical team here have worked wonders with him and we’re delighted that he’s been back training the last couple of weeks and looking sharp. He will be rewarded with a place in the squad tomorrow. Teddy Jenks has returned to his parent club Brighton.

“Young Liam Harvey will be in the squad as well. We decided to give Christian Ramirez an extra week off just to get himself back to America with the family due to the heavy schedule that he has had this season. I spoke about it last week, he looks a little bit fatigued to me and I put that down to the volume of games that he’s had prior to coming here as he was playing in the MLS. I think that’s shown in some of his performances of late so we’ve we’ve given Christian permission to go and be with his family in America, recharge the batteries and come back in the middle of June for pre-season and hopefully be fresh and ready to go again.

Liam Harvey

“I’ve seen probably half a dozen of the under 18 games here at Cormack Park and Liam is one that consistently catches the eye. He’s involved with the Scotland U17 national team. They travel out to Israel on Thursday, so he’ll be a part of the group that goes there but I just felt off the performances that I had witnessed and with the situation with Christian, going back to America, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to reward the good performances in the youth team.

“That is the way that this club is built. We’ve got a pathway, a clear pathway for all the young players. If they do well at their own age group, then that opportunity to step up always needs to be there. We need to make sure that pathway never becomes blocked. We’ve had that success with Calvin Ramsay, Connor Barron and Jack MacKenzie so far. We’re not getting carried away with young Liam. We’re not going to put all the pressure on his shoulders for next season to be that 20 goal striker, but I just believe that tomorrow night is a nice way to end the season for the young man off the back of some really good performances in the under 18s.

Andy Considine

“Andy is available but unfortunately he hasn’t played a great deal of competitive football since his return from injury. We need to be careful with him. I think if he was to start in either of the two upcoming games then he might only last half an hour due to the fact that his fitness isn’t where it needs to be at but we’ll we’ll do the right thing by Andy, whether it’s tomorrow or certainly next Sunday at home in front of the Aberdeen fans. The supporters will be given the opportunity to show their appreciation to the service that Andy has given to this club.

“As I said previously, these decisions are not taken lightly. He’s been a fantastic servant to Aberdeen and he leaves with all of our best wishes for the future. It’s as simple as that. He’s been a great professional around the place since we’ve had that conversation. He’s trained really well, as you would expect. He’s been a good role model to the young players within the squad and I think Andy appreciates everything that Aberdeen has done for him during his career. There’s a level of respect between both parties, but I had to make that hard decision, somebody was going to have to make it at some point. This is the time that it comes. It’s not easy, it’s not nice. I’m sure Andy will be feeling all kinds of emotions at the moment but he leaves with everybody’s best wishes.

Transfer Targets

“I’m putting the Director of Football under enough pressure as it is here and I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be on record as saying we will have every player through the door before pre-season starts because I don’t think that’s humanly possible. Believe me, Steven Gunn is working tirelessly here behind the scenes to try and get the contract negotiations moved along with one or two of the targets.

“As always these things don’t happen as quickly as what you would like them to do, but we’re talking to a good half a dozen players at the moment and there potentially could be one or two others as well added to that, depending on the turnover of players. We know the ones that are leaving at the moment but obviously there is heavy speculation around one or two other members of the squad as well. So we’ll just need to wait and see what happens but believe me, we would like to try and get the majority of the business done before the group comes back in  the middle of June for pre-season.”

Head to Head

Played: 146, Won: 60, Drawn: 46, Lost: 40, Scored:198, Conceded: 152.

So Far This Season

It is one win apiece and a draw for The Dons and the Saints this season. Our first meeting came at Pittodrie back in September. Despite dominating for large parts of the game, Aberdeen couldn’t make their dominance count and it was former Dons striker Stevie May who secured all three points for the Perth side with a late goal.

The second meeting came in December at McDiarmid Park. Again the game was settled by a late goal, this time it was The Dons who scored it with Teddy Jenks finishing from the edge of the box to send the Red Army home in jubilant mood.

The most recent meeting came in a rearranged game in February, with Barry Robson taking interim charge of The Dons after Stephen Glass’ departure. Former Don Callum Hendry gave the Saints an early lead when he finished after Joe Lewis had initially saved from Glenn Middleton. Aberdeen pushed for an equaliser and we got our reward in the second half when Calvin Ramsay was fouled in the box and referee Gavin Duncan pointed to the spot. Lewis Ferguson stepped up to draw Aberdeen level. Despite a late push from the home side, we could not find the winner and had to settle for a point.

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Dons Defeated in Final Away Outing of the Season

May 11, 2022 9:58 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Dons Defeated in Final Away Outing of the Season

 

ST JOHNSTONE 1 ABERDEEN 0

SPFL Premiership

McDiarmid Park

Wednesday 11th May 2022

Referee: David Munro

 

It was a case of déjà vu for the Dons at McDiarmid Park, plenty of possession adding up to not very much in the final third as they slipped to single goal defeat.

Following the 1-1 draw at Hibs on Saturday, there were three changes to Jim Goodwin’s starting XI for the game at St Johnstone, including a first start for striker Michael Ruth. Adam Montgomery and Funso Ojo also came into the side. Ross McCrorie missed out under the head injury protocol after coming off in the final seconds at Hibernian, Marley Watkins missed out with injury and Jonny Hayes started from the bench. Joining him there was fit again Matty Kennedy, Jack Milne, and there were first appearances in the matchday squad for 17-year-old striker Liam Harvey and 16-year-old midfielder Dylan Lobban. Missing from Saturday’s squad were Christian Ramirez, who has been given an extra week’s break over the close season, and Teddy Jenks who has returned to Brighton.

St Johnstone drew 1-1 at Livingston at the weekend but following Dundee’s win over Hibs on Tuesday, were not mathematically safe of the automatic drop. There were three changes for the Saints, Callum Booth, Cammy MacPherson and Stevie May all missing out, replaced by James Brown, Jacob Butterfield and Glenn Middleton.

The opening exchanges were even enough, but the Dons won their first corner in the eighth minute. Connor Barron’s delivery picked out Lewis Ferguson standing all alone, but he headed wide rather than back across goal.

The hosts were on the break on 14 minutes after a mazy Montgomery run ended in him slipping. St Johnstone got the ball up the other end pretty quickly only for Middleton to fire wide from 25 yards.

Hendry was more accurate on 17 minutes, a crisp first-time finish to a sharp Saints move to give them the lead. A long ball opened Aberdeen up, Hallberg played it on to Middleton who pulled the ball back from the by-line to Hendry who was left free to clip the ball across the goal and into the far corner, Joe Lewis left helpless.

It could have been worse a couple of minutes later, Lewis having to tip a Middleton free-kick over the bar as Saints turned up the heat. Hendry was booked on 24 minutes for a high boot that caught Barron in the face.

Aberdeen weathered the storm and started to produce some better football of their own, Dante Polvara putting in a dangerous cross that Rooney scooped over his own bar on 32 minutes. The corner was a carbon copy of the earlier one, Barron finding Ferguson deep at the back post but this time, he put his header into the gloves of Clark.

Vicente Besuijen cut inside from the left on 38 minutes, his shot taking a deflection that took the sting out of it, the ball bobbling through to Clark. A minute later, McCart scythed through Ferguson on halfway and went in the book.

There was a nice move from the Dons on 43. Jack MacKenzie sent Rooney for a bag of chips and passed inside to Besuijen and on to Barron. His low drive from 25 yards was only just wide of goal as Aberdeen began to exert some control.

David Bates took one for the team a minute later, taking Hallberg out as the Saints looked to hit on the break and going into the book.

Half-Time: St Johnstone 1 Aberdeen 0

There was plenty of good possession from Aberdeen at the start of the second half, without finding that clear opening for themselves. Jonny Hayes was brought on, replacing Polvara on 55, moments after Davidson had been booked for a lunge on Ferguson.

Saints should have doubled the lead on 57 minutes, Rooney in acres of space at the back post from a left wing corner but with the goal gaping, he somehow put his header wide.

Hendry nearly grabbed his second after Aberdeen gave the ball away in their own half on the hour, Hendry coming inside onto his right foot and shaping a 20 yarder just wide of the far post.

Kennedy and Connor McLennan were the next changes for Jim Goodwin’s side, Ruth and Montgomery making way on 66 minutes.

Within two minutes, a long ball from Barron set McLennan away, only for him to be hauled down by Gordon, who was shown a yellow card. Barron took the free-kick from nearly 30 yards, straight down Clark’s throat.

Hayes went down clutching his hamstring on 72 minutes, Harvey coming on for his debut. Rooney went in the book for dissent after 77 minutes. Good possession from Aberdeen created panic on 83, Barron threading a ball through to Harvey, his low cross hacked clear in the six-yard box.

The hosts made their first switch after 84 minutes, MacPherson and Bair replacing Hallberg and Hendry. Ferguson went in the book three minutes later for a foul on Rooney as the game ebbed away from Aberdeen. Butterfield was replaced by Craig with the game into added time as the final formalities were completed.

Full-Time: St Johnstone 1-0 Aberdeen

ST JOHNSTONE: Clark, Cleary, Gordon, McCart, Rooney, Davidson, Hallberg (MacPherson 84), Brown, Butterfield (Craig 90+3), Middleton, Hendry (Bair 84).

Subs not used: Parish, Mahon, Ciftci, Sang, Gilmour.

GOAL: Hendry (17)

BOOKED: Hendry, McCart, Davidson, Gordon, Rooney

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Ojo, Gallagher, Bates, MacKenzie, Barron, Ferguson, Polvara (Hayes 56 (Harvey 74)), Montgomery (McLennan 66), Besuijen, Ruth (Kennedy 66).

Subs not used: Woods, Considine, McGeouch, Milne, Harvey, Lobban.

BOOKED: Bates, Ferguson

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