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Rd5 | Gary Mackay-Steven | St Johnstone Preview

September 14, 2018 12:04 pm Author: AFC Media Team

“The Kilmarnock game was not the game we wanted to finish on before the international break. So I am not sure if the break came at a good or bad time, depending what way you look at. It was nice to get some time off after the hectic start but finishing on a loss like that, you want to right that wrong as soon as possible.

“So everyone is raring to go. We have had a good training week and we are all looking forward to the game.

“St Johnstone have started the season very well. They are putting in good performances and they are scoring goals. They have a different side to their game now with a lot of pace in the wide areas. Tony Watt has been doing well for them up front. I know Tony from my time at Airdrie and know he is a good player.

“So it certainly won’t be easy. No game down there ever is easy.

“It is a big boost for us having Scott McKenna back. It was unfortunate that he picked up the injury against Rangers as he is a big presence at the back for us. He is really solid and can also start attacks. With Mikey being out it is great to have Scott back.

“It is unfortunate that Michel is not available, but we just have to focus on the players who are available and concentrate on the game.

“We want all our players fit. James is hopefully not too far away. he will be a big player for us when he comes back. We have seen glimpses in training. But all our strikers here offer something different and it won’t be long before they are all firing. They have all got goals in them.

“Last season we had a few boys involved with Scotland and it is great to see Graeme involved again recently. It is great for him. It shows the level of consistency and the high standards he has set for himself. It is great for the football club to have players represented in the national team. It is what every player wants to achieve. Hopefully he can keep his from going for us as well.

“It is not something I dwell too much on (getting into the Scotland squad), I focus purely on playing well for Aberdeen. But it is something every player aspires to, every player wants to pull on the dark blue Scotland shirt. Right now, my focus is on Aberdeen – staying fit and healthy and performing as well as I can.

“It is good to see that if you are performing at a high level in this league you will get your chance. The manager has shown that with some of his selections and I think that is the way it should be. There are a lot of good players in Scotland performing at a high level.

“I got a good pre-season under my belt which was very important for me. Last season I had done most of the pre-season but without maybe playing the minutes of games that you want as a player. Therefore you go into games still maybe lacking that match sharpness. So this season I was really wanting to hit the ground running. I feel confident because I have got the minutes under my belt.

“Also being my second season I feel more comfortable and know my team mates and know the way the manager wants me to play. I know there is a lot more to come as well.

“I think the league has been steadily improving every year. This year is no different. It is probably as strong as it has been in a while, certainly the past few years. Every team is improving and that is great for the league. We have done quite well the past few seasons but that is all in the past. It is what we do this season that matters most. Saturday is a chance to really get our season up and going, get three points and start climbing the table. Start showing what we can do as well.”

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