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Ladbrokes Premiership | Rd13 | Hibernian Preview | The Manager

November 8, 2018 4:41 pm Author: AFC Media Team

Looking ahead to Hibernian

“I’m pleased with the recent results as three wins going into the game helps us.

“We’ve a full squad more or less to choose from and we recognise being at home the intention is always to go and try win the game. We also recognise the strength of the Hibs team. They are a very strong side and similar to ourselves this summer have had to make a lot of adjustments, but Neil seems to have a familiarity about his squad. They have a lot of players available that he’s maybe not had.

“The game itself will be two very good teams with a lot of good players on show and both teams won’t be happy unless they get the win which should make the game a bit more open and entertaining. Hopefully we score at least one more goal than Hibs and get all three points, which is the objective when we play any game.

“There are different ways of winning. In the semi-final we were resilient, stuck to our task and got the job done. Nobody really remembers losing semi-finalists and it’s all about getting the job done. We scored a very good goal then dealt with Hamilton in midweek with a polished performance with quality goals. Then at Kilmarnock I was really disappointed with the first half performance, but again what it does show me is the resilience of the squad and the ability to respond at half time, which is something we’ve always had. Ideally you want that better performance from the get-go and making sure we start better than we did last Sunday. Ultimately the players found a way to win and that response is great for a manager when you see the honesty of the team to get the job done. We go into the game in good form and well-aware we’re still searching for our best form over 90 minutes. We know we’ve got players that can be part of a winning performance against Hibs tomorrow night.

“I get asked that question every now again about laying down a marker and for me we want to have the fight with ourselves and making sure we’re happy with our own work at the end of the season. That’s how we always try and reflect on it regardless if we’re playing teams in and around us, the challenge is always to be getting those winning sequences and unbeaten runs. We’re on one at the moment and we want that to continue. Hopefully we can beat a very good Hibs team to get the job done. We’ve had some very close matches with them recently none more so than the cup game and league game this year. They had a late equaliser down there at Easter Road and you wouldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. There’s been a lot of tight matches of late and I expect tomorrow will be a tight match. It’s two good teams with plenty of motivation within the clubs and hopefully we can come out on top.

“It’s difficult to stop Hibs creating chances because they are a good side and when you play the better teams it’s just about getting that balance between attacking and defending. We’re always trying to set our own game plan out and impose ourselves, but we’re also aware of the attacking threat the opposition have, and they can go quickly from defending to attacking in a matter of seconds with the pace they have. They’ve got good players Hibs and when you’ve got good players who can punish mistakes and have space to operate so you’ve got to be aware of that. I feel I’ve got good players in my team and I think some of the players are in good form, some still searching for their best form, but if we play to our form and you always hope that’s the case, I think we’re good enough to get the job done tomorrow night.”

Team news and current form

“Over the last three games I’ve had a familiarity in my selection and I’ve been fortunate enough to have that. I haven’t had that all season, so the inconsistencies can maybe be a reason for that and the stats are also saying we’ve had one of the youngest teams so again you get that inconsistencies sometimes when you play a lot of the younger ones and it can be a bit more up and down. For everybody to have that determination and resilience and still get the results is pleasing. I do think as I learn about my team as we go along there’s more to come from the team and hopefully come the end of the season we’re reflecting on another reasonably successful campaign and being as competitive as we want to be both in the cups and in the league. Everybody’s fit (from Sunday) and good to go.”

Conduct of supporters in Scotland

“I’ve sure that will be the case (everyone’s here for the game). I don’t think you can ever get too complacent, but we’ve never had any real problems here. Supporters will turn up and the vast majority if not all will come to enjoy the game, take part in the atmosphere and the rivalry and just want to see their team win. Unfortunately, sometimes that can overspill, and idiots can get carried away with themselves. There is an element of support who at times feel they can say and do whatever they want to an official, player or manager and that’s not going to change, but it’s disappointing. From our point of view, we’ve got such a high regard for Neil and his team and what they do, and everybody here is just coming along and looking forward to seeing us try to take on a very good side.”

International Call Ups

“Niall has been a regular with Northern Ireland and while he never takes it for granted it’s good to see him in. For us to have four in (Scotland) and we were hopeful we’d have four is fantastic. It really is superb and especially for Mikey and Gary, who were just getting brought in at the last hour for the last get together. It shows what can be done if you’re playing well here as you are in the eye of the international manager. Right across the board we had four in the U20s as young Frank Ross had to pull out with injury, three in the U19’s and three in the U16 Victory Shield squad so we’re represented at all levels. At the moment it’s about getting those representatives into the senior squad, which is something at times we’ve been frustrated with in the past, but it’s great to see that recognition there and hopefully all four lads can be part of a couple of winning performances for Scotland. It’s two very important games.

“We’ve been the second best team for the last four/five years and I’ve always felt if players are playing regularly and playing well then they give themselves a chance. We had Ryan Jack, Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie, Peter Pawlett and Mark Reynolds involved in squads, so the onus is on them to be playing well first and foremost for Aberdeen and then hopefully we can get more involvement. I think it’s important when you sign players and work with players you do highlight the potential rewards for them and part of that conversation from me to them is about getting themselves into the Scotland squad or your national team squad. It’s great especially for Mikey, who’s came from way back in terms of injury this time last year and he’s came a long way in a short time. Well done on him and well done on them all and hopefully they can all play a part.”

Lewis Ferguson

“I was asked do I think he (Lewis Ferguson) would be a future Scotland player and I said in time that will come to him. I’m not for saying he’s there already, but the signs are very encouraging. We’ve got a good player there who has the capacity to learn and improve and he’s doing very well for us. He’ll go away with the U20’s and enjoy that get-together and hopefully he keeps continuing to be a strong performer for me and my team and that will come to him I’m sure.

“It was interesting what he said because it’s something that we feel (free kicks) as well that sometimes he gets bullied out the way by Niall McGinn and others to take them, but he practices them religiously after training and he’s got very good technique. He fancies himself to score from that distance especially because he scored on Sunday. It was an important goal and in those key moments especially late in the game sometimes it comes down to the quality of that individual brilliance. He’s shown he can deliver on that.”

Thursday 8th November 2018, Aberdeen, Scotland. Aberdeen FC Press Conference ahead of the Ladbrokes SPFL Premiership match against Hibs on Friday evening at Pittodrie.
Pictured: Manager Derek McInnes
(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

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