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Match Preview | Aberdeen v St Mirren
Competition: cinch Scottish Premiership
Match: Aberdeen v St Mirren
Kick Off: 12:00
TV Coverage: RedTV International, Virtual Season Ticket and Pay Per View. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK subscribers.
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Post Match on RedTV: Reaction at full time, full match replay available from 10.00pm and extended highlights from midnight.
Manager Jim Goodwin sat down with the media on Friday lunchtime to preview our final match of the season with St Mirren at Pittodrie on Sunday lunchtime. Watch the full preview on RedTV now.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a number of my old staff members and obviously all of the players. Every player pretty much in that squad at St Mirren are my players. I brought them all to the club and we had enjoyed some decent days together, we had a couple of semi-finals last season.
“St Mirren were having a great season obviously prior to me leaving and were in amongst that top six and doing quite well at the time. I think they probably would have got into the top six but obviously the opportunity to come here was far too big to turn down. I hope I get a nice reception off the fans but I’m not holding my breath because I know that I disappointed one or two of them in the manner that I left. The majority of the ones that I’ve spoken to understand the reasoning behind me leaving. I loved my time at St Mirren. The people behind the scenes were great to me. I’ve made some great friends during the time there as a player and then obviously latterly as a manager. One of the best days ever as a player, winning the League Cup and they gave me my opportunity in full time management so I’ll be eternally grateful to them as a club. There’s absolutely no hard feelings whatever way the reaction goes. They’re a great club. I wish them nothing but success in the future but obviously on Sunday, we’ve got to be professional and I’ve got to go and try and get a result for Aberdeen.
Reflections on the Season
“I wasn’t just asking the players to take responsibility for the performance on Wednesday night, I was talking about over the course of the season. Ultimately, the blame falls on the shoulders of a manager and there’s no issue with that. I have no problem whatsoever with that. I accept all of the criticism and all of the negativity that’s coming our way right now. I take it on the chin, it hasn’t been good enough.
“I said after the game, at the risk of repeating myself, that I genuinely believed I could get a better reaction out of the players that were here. I knew confidence was low. But unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that. I’ll take my share of the blame for that. The players as well need to take responsibility. Myself, the Chairman and the Director of Football are all in the firing line here. We’re all accountable for what’s happened here, the previous regime as well. There’s no hiding place, you can either sink or swim and the negativity and the criticism that’s coming from whether it’s the press or whether it’s the fans, we accept that, we understand what’s happened hasn’t been good enough but it only makes me even more determined to to make this a success.
“We have had some mitigating factors without trying to make any excuses. There have been a lot of things happening behind the scenes. We’ve changed one or two things with regards to backroom staff. I had a lot of conversations with a number of members of the squad, there’s 10 or 11 players there who have been told they’re not going to be here next season, subconsciously in their minds that has a serious impact. As you can imagine the atmosphere around the place probably hasn’t been as jovial as what we would like.
“I want our supporters to be extremely optimistic about the future. We have identified some really, really good targets to come in the summer. There will be big changes. I’ve been here before in my first window at St. Mirren was very similar to what we’re experiencing here. We had to get rid of a lot of players. We had to bring in a lot of new faces but we got a great reaction once we had that turnover. And that’s exactly what I fully expect to happen here again in the summer.
“We pulled Liam Harvey out of the U17s Scotland squad, I don’t like doing that to the young lads. It was an opportunity for Liam to go to Israel as well. It would have been a great experience for him. I actually went there many years ago with the Irish underage groups and it was a part of the world that I probably thought I would never see and I got to experience that and I would have liked Liam to experience that as well.
“We had to take him out because Aberdeen first team is the priority and Liam understands that. He’ll be in the squad again for the weekend. That was probably the one positive to come out of Wednesday night was that we managed to get one of our Young Academy graduates onto the park and that is a big, big part of this football club.
“It’s touch and go to be honest with quite a few of them, the squad will be very similar to the one that was available to me on on Wednesday night. We’d like it to be a bit different. We weren’t anticipating Marley missing the game on Wednesday, we thought he was fit but then the morning of the game he didn’t feel right. We didn’t want to risk him at this particular stage of the season. We don’t want anybody being injured for the whole of the summer and not being able to train when we come back for pre-season so we’re trying to protect one or two individuals within the group. It gave me a chance to have a look at Mikey Ruth and one or two others. The squad that we had at St. Johnstone on Wednesday will be similar to the one that we have to go with tomorrow.
“A lot of them took it really really well and we’re very professional about it and very understanding of the situation. A few of them weren’t overly pleased with that news. I just tried to be honest with them and give them my reasons. I don’t think the group as a whole has been good enough this season. I think we’ve got an opportunity with the number of players who were out of contract to freshen things up in the summer. When a player comes and knocks on my door and asks if they are going to get a new contract next season, I’m not going to sit there and say ‘Can we wait six weeks and I’ll make my decision?’ By the time they leave my office they already know they’re not getting the contract because if I want them to stay I’d have offered it from there and then so I don’t like dishonesty. This game is riddled with it. I rather just tell it how it is and I try and be upfront and honest with my players and my staff.
“The players I’m letting go, I don’t believe we’re good enough to take this club forward. It’s as simple as that. If they don’t agree, that’s fine. I’ve been in that situation myself. We need to freshen things up in this football club. There’s been a number of really good servants to the club. They leave with the greatest amount of respect and best wishes. In order for this club to get back to where it belongs, we need to bring in some young, ambitious, hungry players who are going to improve us, it’s as simple as that.
“Of course Sunday is important, there’s professional pride at stake. I spoke about the prize money at stake as well. It would be great for the club to get an extra £150,000 or whatever those couple of places mean in the grand scheme of things because that money will be used elsewhere, but, we don’t need that money to keep the lights on. At the same time we want to finish as high up the table as what we can possibly do. We need a better performance than what we put in on Wednesday night. We are up against a good St Mirren team, lads who I know inside out, very very good players within the team and a great group. There are really good strong characters within the group. That’s why I brought all of those boys to St Mirren and that’s why we had the relative success that we had and I want to try and emulate that here at Aberdeen and bring similar types of characters to Aberdeen who are going to help us go on to bigger and better things next season. I want the fans out there to be as optimistic as what I am about the future.
“We’ve had a really difficult period, but they’ve been brilliant. They’ve stood by the team and I want them to do the same again on Sunday. Get behind the boys and let’s finish the campaign off as best we can and then we can really look forward to an exciting summer ahead.
“You only need to look at what happened at Hearts, they got put out of the a cup by Brora Rangers and there was all kinds of demonstrations outside Tynecastle. 12 months on and they are the third best team in the country and they have a cup final to look forward to. They are a similar sized club to ourselves. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t go and do the same next season. But in order for that to happen, we need to get the squad sorted, we need to do the most important thing in the summer, which is getting the recruitment, right and we’re doing that at the moment. We’ve got a great strategy in place. We’ve got good people behind the scenes working hard on it and we’ve got a great budget by the way, we’ve got a very, very good playing budget that I need to spend wisely and that’s the most important part of football.
AberDNA Junior Fans at Pittodrie
“The young kids within the Aberdeen community are the future of the football club. The young supporters are the future of any football club, and hopefully we can inspire the future generations in the weeks and months ahead to become lifelong season ticket holders of Aberdeen but to do that, to capture the imagination of these kids you need to be entertaining, you need to score goals, you need to sign some really good players that want to come in and watch and the likes of Vinnie Besuijen, Connor Barron and Calvin Ramsey. Guys like that become their heroes and that’s what we need to try and aspire to do. Hopefully we can give those kids a memorable day on Sunday. Give them plenty of goals to cheer and and hopefully they will be coming back for the next 60 or 70 years in the future.
“I knew what I was coming into but I also know the level of ambition that the club has got. I know that the playing budget that’s available, the facilities that are here as well. The club have had a really poor season. It’s as simple as that. There has been a lot of mitigating factors. When you talk about other factors, then people think you’re making excuses but we’ve had serious injuries. A number of players knowing that they’re not wanted, who subconsciously maybe don’t give their all, it’s been extremely disappointing, but all I can say is that we’ve got people here at the club, who are extremely determined to put it right. No more so than the Chairman, the Director of Football and myself.
“The Chairman comes in for a bit of criticism from time to time, but I don’t know, a Chairman out there who is as transparent or as open with his supporters. He certainly has put his money, his own money where his mouth is. He has built a great training facility here at Cormack Park and has given me a playing budget that’s extremely competitive, but it’s up to me to make sure that I spend that money wisely and make sure that we bring in players who are going to improve the club who are hopefully going to be sellable assets
“We’re in a bit of a transition period. It’s as simple as that. I knew what was ahead of us. I’ve never shied away from a challenge in my life, the criticism and the negativity that has came my way is justified. But it only makes me more determined to make a success of this job. I’ve worked extremely hard to get here. If you’d have told me five years ago when I was at Alloa, that I would be the manager of such a great club like Aberdeen, then I would have bitten your hand off you so believe me, I’m going to fight tooth and nail to make sure we get it right and to make a success of it.”
So Far This Season
This will be the first time that Jim Goodwin has faced his old side since departing Paisley to move to Aberdeen in February. The Dons and the Saints have faced each other three times this season, with each game being won by the home side. St Mirren won their two home fixtures 3-2 in September and 1-0 in January. The Dons put on one of their performances of the season in December as we defeated St Mirren 4-1 at Pittodrie with Christian Ramirez and Marley Watkins both scoring doubles.
⏪ The last time out against St Mirren. pic.twitter.com/TiU05MrMUZ
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 25, 2022
Head to Head
Played Overall: 219, Won: 111, Drawn: 45, Lost:63, Scored: 396, Conceded: 259.
At Pittodrie: 108, Won: 70, Drawn: 21, Lost: 17, Scored: 234, Conceded: 98.
Last 5 League Meetings at Pittodrie:
04/12/2021: Aberdeen 4 St Mirren 1 (Watkins x2, Ramirez x2)
13/02/2021: Aberdeen 0 St Mirren 0
2/10/2020: Aberdeen 2 (Watkins, Ferguson) St Mirren 1 (Erhahon)
30/11/2019: Aberdeen 2 (McLennan, Anderson) Livingston 1 (Dykes)
16/02/2019: Aberdeen 2 (Ferguson, Cosgrove) St Mirren 2 (Nazon pen, McAllister)
Did You Know?
• St Mirren’s last league win in Aberdeen was on 10th May 2011, Gareth Wardlaw scoring for the
visitors in what turned out to be Derek Young’s last playing appearance at Pittodrie. Current
Buddies boss Jim Goodwin was part of the winning team.
• The highest scoring league meeting of the teams came on 19th December 1936 when the Dons edged out the Saints by the odd goal in a nine-goal thriller in front of 14,000 fans at Pittodrie.
Match Page - Formation
Match Page - Text Commentary
Pittodrie Bids Farewell to Andy
ABERDEEN 0 ST MIRREN 0
Sunday 15th May 2022
Referee: Don Robertson
Pittodrie said a fond farewell to Andrew Considine, but the game couldn’t live up to the occasion, more of the same as Aberdeen failed to turn 66% possession into goals.
There were four changes to Jim Goodwin’s starting XI for the last game of the season, including the return of Andrew Considine, skippering the Dons in his 571st and final game for the club. Also back in the side were Ross McCrorie, Marley Watkins and Jonny Hayes. Funso Ojo, Michael Ruth, Adam Montgomery and Declan Gallagher all started on the bench.
After their 0-0 draw with Livingston in midweek, there were three changes to the St Mirren side, former Dons Joe Shaughnessy and Curtis Main missing from the squad, Ryan Flynn on the bench. In their starting places were Richard Tait, Alan Power and Jay Henderson.
There was a guard of honour from both sides for Andy Considine as he came onto the pitch with his three boys, some tribute to one of Aberdeen’s all-time heroes, and thoroughly well deserved.
A bustling run from Watkins in the second minute got the crowd out of their seats again, powering forward over 50 yards and into the Buddies’ box before being frozen out by weight of numbers.
Aberdeen were inches away from an opener on six minutes. A searing run from Hayes down the left was initially stopped by Fraser but Hayes kept the pressure on and the clearance was collected by Lewis Ferguson. His curling shot from 25 yards looked set for the net until Alnwick stretched to tip it over. From the short corner, the ball was worked into the box, Considine connecting nicely only to see his effort blocked.
Henderson had St Mirren’s first sight of goal, pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the box to flash a shot just over the bar. A couple of minutes later, Joe Lewis had to be lively, diving to his left to clutch a header from McCarthy after a free-kick was floated into the box from deep.
The first booking came on 28 minutes, Erhahon trying to rugby tackle Connor Barron to the ground. Ferguson had the hosts’ next effort, smashing a left footed drive over the bar from just inside the box after collecting a lay off from Watkins.
Barron was so close to a first Aberdeen goal on 37, denied by a terrific save from Alnwick. Hayes had collected a loose clearance on the right before feeding the ball into the youngster. His first time shot from just inside the box looked bound for the bottom corner but Alnwick was down smartly to tip it behind. From the corner, McCrorie smashed the ball into the net from six yards out, only to see the referee pointing for a foul to the visitors, presumably for an infringement on the goalkeeper.
In the final minute of the half, Barron drifted a free-kick to the back post, the referee pointing to the spot, Bates’ header back across goal clearly striking Tanser’s arm, well above his head. It looked a blatant penalty, but the referee then consulted with his assistant and ruled it out, giving the decision St Mirren’s away. A remarkable end to the half.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 ST MIRREN 0
Aberdeen won a first minute corner on the restart, Considine flicking a header across the face from Barron’s delivery. In the aftermath, he took some treatment and with that, the Andrew Considine era was done. The crowd rose to him as he made his way off the pitch, giving a standing ovation as he was replaced by Gallagher.
Tait was next to need treatment, triggering a double change for the visitors, Henderson also making way as Brophy and Millar joined the game. Brophy was in the action on 57 minutes, twisting and turning at the top of the box before dragging a shot wide of goal.
Aberdeen were straight up the other end, a Vicente Besuijen shot deflected onto the roof of the net. A double change followed for Aberdeen on the hour, Watkins and Polvara replaced by Liam Harvey and Ojo, McCrorie moving into midfield.
The Dons began to turn the temperature up from there, Hayes flashing a couple of shots at goal but they were still toiling to create any real clear openings on goal.
A horrible lunge, late and over the ball, on Barron on 68 minutes from Erhahon somehow went unpunished – it could easily have drawn a straight red card on another day, let alone the midfielder’s second yellow of the day. Bates was shown no such leniency on 71, booked for a high foot. Tanser put the free-kick miles over the bar, symptomatic of the afternoon. Erhahon was hooked for Flynn on 74 minutes.
Hayes continued to wage his one man war on St Mirren, bludgeoning a volley at goal from 25 yards on 77 minutes, Alnwick away to his right to save. Hayes made way on 79, Matty Kennedy replacing him for the final few minutes. Kiltie was in the book on 80 minutes for a late and high tackle on Jack MacKenzie.
Harvey had a golden chance to open his Aberdeen account on 86 minutes, Kennedy hoisting up a great cross to the back post. Harvey peeled away from the defenders and headed down into the corner but Alnwick was equal to it, shovelling behind. From Ojo’s corner, the keeper was at it again, tipping Gallagher’s header over the bar.
Besuijen danced his way into the box on 89 minutes before firing in a shot that was blocked behind. In the aftermath, Greive was replaced by Gilmartin.
A final effort came as Kennedy cut inside only to fire over, and that was that, Aberdeen ending a desperately disappointing season in tenth position in the table.
Full-Time: Aberdeen 0-0 St Mirren
ABERDEEN: Lewis, McCrorie, Considine (Gallagher 49), Bates, MacKenzie, Barron, Ferguson, Polvara (Ojo 60), Hayes (Kennedy 79), Besuijen, Watkins (Harvey 60).
Subs not used: Woods, Montgomery, McLennan, Ruth, Milne.
ST MIRREN: Alnwick, Fraser, Gogic, McCarthy, Tait (Millar 51), Henderson (Brophy 51), Power, Erhahon (Flynn 74), Tanser, Kiltie, Greive (Gilmartin 90+1).
Subs not used: Lyness, Thomson.
BOOKED: Erhahon, Kiltie