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Match Preview | Aberdeen v Kilmarnock
Competition: Scottish Premiership
Match: Aberdeen v Kilmarnock
Kick Off: 15:00
TV Coverage: RedTV International, Virtual Season Ticket and Pay Per View. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK subscribers.
Tony Docherty sat down with the media this morning, via Zoom, to preview our home game with Kilmarnock.
“We look at the opposition, we analyse them and look at our strengths and try to win a game, there is nothing different there.
“Like any game it is one that we look to go and win. We will set up to win and train the boys accordingly and will do all we can to get the three points.
“I have been involved with teams where you don’t know where the next goal is going to come from, you are not creating chances but if you look at the game the other night you can see that we are creating chances. Sometimes you go through a run where it doesn’t go in and you get some decisions that don’t go your way as well. You need to keep working away, don’t get too bogged down with it, affect what you can affect and hopefully things will come together. I have found that the harder that you work, the luckier that you get.
“It is something that we remind our players of before every game (the fans watching at home.) You need to put yourself in that place mentally that you are imaging there is a crowd out there. It is something that we are really strong with the boys on that you have to try and picture the supporters, try and picture them when you score a goal, running up to the fans and celebrate with them.
“At Aberdeen you know the fans are always there and if you get success, they are right behind you. They are always willing you on as well. Everybody is endeavouring to do as much as we can to get back to winning ways and finish the season really strongly.
“There is always pressure on you when you are involved in football and particularly when you are involved in a club like Aberdeen. There is always pressure to win games. There is a good feeling about the place. They are good players there and all it needs is one of these chances to go in or for a decision to go your way.
“Our responsibility is to make sure that we train the players properly, we analyse the opposition and prepare them to win games on a Saturday. That is our job and what we will continue to do. We are fortunate that we have a good squad of players here and there is a strong belief that we can finish the season really strongly.
“I was just made aware of the comment on Florian’s Instagram account before I came into press. It is totally unacceptable. I know the type of character that Flo is, and I don’t think it will affect him, he is a strong personality. Since he came in, we have been really impressed with him not just with his footballing ability but with his personality and his enthusiasm. I need to stress that the comment on his Instagram is totally unacceptable.
“I like Tommy Wright, I have a lot of time for him, he did a great job at St Johnstone. He has had an impact since he came into Kilmarnock. His teams will always be competitive, and we expect that tomorrow. We need to make sure that we have the right armoury to cause them problems. We will try and focus on our strengths and their weaknesses. Tommy will have his team ready to go and we need to go out and beat them.
“You go out in every game to do your upmost to try and win. There is never a game where you sit back and accept that you are not going to win, and this is no different. They have a new manager that has come in and their performance will rise because of that.
“We have a group of players in there who are hell bent to make sure that we do everything that we can to get those three points. Hopefully, that creates momentum to take onto the next game.
“You can always turn a negative into a positive. We always make sure that the players are not just physically right but also mentally right and are in a positive frame of mind and I do think that they are. You can only look towards your next game which is Kilmarnock at home. Individually the players will be prepared to contribute to a performance that will hopefully get us all three points.
Head to Head
Played 222, won 110, drawn 39, lost 73. Scored 360, conceded 262.
Played 110, won 64, drawn 23, lost 23. Scored 201, conceded 93.
Did You Know?
- Scott McKenna’s goal on 2nd November 2019 was Aberdeen’s 200th home League goal against Kilmarnock.
- If he features against Killie, it will be the 40th time that Andy Considine has played the Rugby Park side.
So Far This Season
Our last meeting with the Rugby Park side at Pittodrie came back in September when 300 Aberdeen fans were allowed inside the ground as a ‘test event.’ The Dons ran out 1-0 winners that day when Ross McCrorie bagged his first goal for the club with a brilliant first time shot from the edge of the box.
Our other league meeting with Kilmarnock came back in December when we ran out 2-0 winners. Ryan Hedges put us in front with a deflected strike and Sam Cosgrove made sure of all three points with a late free-kick.
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Match Report | Dons battle hard for the win
Saturday 20th February 2021
Ref – Don Robertson
It might not have been the prettiest afternoon at Pittodrie, but the Dons were full of guts and determination to see Kilmarnock off and seize three crucial points to get things moving forward once again.
Derek McInnes made two change to the side beaten 1-0 at Celtic Park on Wednesday night, Johnny Hayes absent with a hamstring injury, while Matty Kennedy started from the bench. In to replace them came Niall McGinn and Connor McLennan. Kieran Ngwenya also came into the matchday squad among the substitutes.
There were five changes for visitors Kilmarnock from the team that lost 1-0 at Ibrox last Saturday afternoon. In came Ross Millen, Kirk Broadfoot, Diaguely Dabo, Mitch Pinnock and Chris Burke with Aaron McGowan, Zech Medley, Aaron Tshibola, Greg Kiltie and Rory McKenzie all dropping to the bench.
Conditions were a little better than against St Mirren last week, but there was still a swirling wind and a greasy surface.
The Dons made a quick start as good persistence from McLennan down the right in the opening minute won the ball deep in Killie territory before getting the ball back from Fraser Hornby and having his shot charged down.
In the third minute, a ball along the deck from Ash Taylor was cleverly flicked on by Hornby, Lewis Ferguson released to head for goal, his shot from the edge of the box palmed behind by Doyle. On the quarter hour, a Tommie Hoban free-kick from deep was nodded down by Ferguson, McGinn coming onto it 25 yards out, only to hook his shot wide.
Killie had their first sight of goal 17 minutes in, a corner reaching Dicker at the back post, his weak shot easily snaffled by Joe Lewis. Lewis spotted the chance of a break, hurling the ball forward for Hornby to run onto. He chased forward to the edge of the box before curling a shot inches wide of goal. In so doing, he picked up an injury to his left thigh, requiring the Dons to make yet another change due to injury, Callum Hendry coming on. Once again, everything that could go against Aberdeen during this run is going against them.
And yet it was that substitution that finally broke that run of ill luck, for within a minute, McGinn had floated the ball into the box from a free-kick out on the right, Hendry timing his run onto it to perfection to bullet a header past Doyle and into the back of the net. A great leap and header and a bit of quality from Niall with the cross.
In the 26th minute, Hendry was away on the chase, only to get a whack in the face from Dikamona, right in front of the assistant who was looking in the wrong direction. A minute later, it was Dikamona on the deck, seemingly with a similar thigh injury to Hornby’s and he too was replaced, Medley coming on for him.
There was confusion at the back in the 35th minute, Dicker cleverly lofting the ball into Kabamba’s run behind the defence. The Dons players looked for offside but there was no flag, Lewis coming off his line to narrow the angle and block his shot. Dabo then collected the game’s first yellow card on 40 minutes for a late lunge on McLennan.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 KILMARNOCK 0
Lafferty and McGowan were introduced by Tommy Wright at half-time, Burke and Dabo replaced. They won an early corner to try to use the height they had in the team, but the Dons defended well. Kabamba then caused problems with neat control in the 50th minute, but his ball across the box had no takers. McGinn was then in the book after a collision with McGowan.
Neat football from Aberdeen won them a free-kick 30 yards out in the 55th minute, but in trying to bend the ball into the top corner, Flo Kamberi put his effort wide of goal.
Mulumbu put Pinnock on the run in the 56th minute and he tested Lewis from the corner of the box, the skipper saving well, Taylor tidying up the rebound. The Dons were on the front foot a minute later, Taylor’s throw headed into McLennan’s run by Hendry, the ball just getting away from him and allowing Doyle to scamper off his line to collect.
Ferguson was inches away on the hour, neat interplay between him, Hendry and Kamberi getting Ferguson into the box, flashing a shot through the six yard box and just wide. McGowan was then in the book for whacking the airborne Hendry in the back on halfway.
With a rapidly stiffening wind behind them, Kilmarnock were happy to smash the ball long to Lafferty and Kabamba, bombarding the box, but the Dons were defending solidly under the aerial assault. McGinn was replaced by Kennedy in the 70th minute as Aberdeen looked for some fresh legs in the final stages, the visitors responding three minutes later with their final changes, Kiltie and Whitehall on for Haunstrup and Kabamba.
With the Dons playing in midweek, and with the pitch getting heavier as the afternoon wore on, there were a lot of tired legs but the Aberdeen players had to dig deep in the final 10.
The Dons almost sealed it in the 82nd minute, McCrorie thundering a shot off the bar after a Kennedy cross had caused chaos in the Kilmarnock area, the ball scrambled to the edge of the box from where the midfielder crashed his shot beyond the goalkeeper but against the woodwork yet again.
Aberdeen made their final change with Miko Virtanen replacing Campbell in the 89th minute as the home side looked to see the game out. They achieved that and the Dons were on the up again. Credit to the defence who stood up really well to the physical challenge all afternoon.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Hoban, Taylor, Considine, McLennan, Campbell (Virtanen 89), Ferguson, McCrorie, McGinn (Kennedy 70), Kamberi, Hornby (Hendry 20).
Subs not used: Woods, Logan, McGeouch, Ngwenya, Ross, MacKenzie.
GOAL: Hendry (21)
KILMARNOCK: Doyle, Millen, Dikamona (Medley 29), Broadfoot, Haunstrup (Kiltie 73), Burke (Lafferty 46), Dabo (McGowan 46), Dicker, Mulumbu, Pinnock, Kabamba (Whitehall 73).
Subs not used: Rogers, Tshibola, McKenzie, Rossi.
BOOKED: Dabo, McGowan