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SCSF Build Up | Scott McKenna

April 10, 2019 7:18 pm Author: AFC Media Team

Importance of the game

“The manager’s massive on good cup runs, but in recent weeks we’ve had to look at our league form first because we have dropped points.
Coming into this week, we can now focus on the cup. It’s good to get a full week’s training in and that will hopefully lead to good game.”

Approach to the game

“I think we’ve been at our best in the cup games and just being able to hang on when we can and nick a goal to see game’s out.

“That’s be massive for us, and we just need to take that same approach at the weekend and hopefully the result will work out in our favour.

“Any time you play Celtic they probably are going to have the majority of the ball and you need to be disciplined. I think we’ve been good at that in recent months and we need to be the exact same again. If we do get the chance we need to try look after the ball a wee bit more than we have then take the game to them.”

Concentration levels

“When you do have the ball that’s probably when you’ve got to concentrate even more because they’re probably more likely to break. If we’re all in a good shape that makes it harder for the team to break us down and that’s easier for a defender, but concentration is massive when we do have possession.”
Deal with the pressure as an individual

“I wouldn’t say it’s a pressure to me. I do try take more responsibility on the pitch and it’s just what you need to do in the position that I play in. I can see the full game going on in front of me and if I want to better myself I need to handle that responsibility.”

Influence of younger players and helping them

“I do feel older when you’ve got 17, 18 and 19 year olds coming into it and all of a sudden 22 seems a mile off it! It’s brilliant those boys have come in and done well and you just need to look after them as much as you can when things aren’t coming off for them.

“We’ve still got your Andy Considine’s, Joe Lewis’s and Graeme Shinnie’s who are the true leaders, but myself and Max Lowe have played quite a few games and you just need to try help the ones that are fresh into the team.”

Missing Shinnie for Sunday

“He’s played every single game this season and he’s a massive player for us. We’re obviously gutted that he’s missing, but it’s up to others to step up and take the extra responsibility.

“He was disappointed he wasn’t playing in last year’s Semi-final, but he didn’t show it in the dressing room before. He was his usual self and encouraged everyone for the game.

“Last year was a wee bit different in that we were missing three players who had played nearly every game last year in Kenny McLean, Shay Logan and Graeme Shinnie so there were a few boys that came in. It’s only Shinnie missing this year from the sides that have played recently. Although we have a few longer terms injuries, it’ll be more settled than the game last year.”

Playing in Glasgow

“I wouldn’t say there was ever a fear factor, but even though we’ve had positive results in Glasgow we still need to show them respect. We need to show them that respect, but for us we need to turn up and give a positive account of ourselves.

“We’ll go into the game with a belief, but also the confidence that we can go get a result and that probably comes from the previous results that we’ve had before and that confidence builds up.”

Getting to a final

“It’s a one-off game and it’s not like when you have to play 38 games over the course of a season. If we turn up and get a result then what a chance we have of winning a cup. The manager and boys that were here when they won the cup in 2014, a lot of them said it’s their best footballing memory. All us younger ones want to experience that as well.”

Having Joe Lewis at the back

“It’s not just the defenders it gives confidence to – it’s to the whole team. Even on Saturday you seen Joe make an unbelievable save and then collects the corner and sets us on the break to get the first goal. It settles the whole team down and that’s the presence that Joe’s got.”

Playing alongside Celtic players for Scotland

“On game days I’ll concentrate on myself rather than looking at how they handle it. Callum McGregor was the captain in Kazakhstan and the way he went about the dressing room showed he had that real belief to win games. That’s something we could learn a thing or two from and hopefully go into the game feeling that way too.”

Getting in front first

“If you can get in front it allows you to sit in your shape a wee bit more and the onus isn’t for you to come out.

“Even if we do go behind we need to have a real belief that we’re still in the game. If we nick a goal then there’s extra time and penalties to decide it so it doesn’t matter as long as we stay concentrated and have a belief we can win.”

Sam Cosgrove

“Sam’s been brilliant for us in games that we’ve probably not played that well as he’s got us a goal or two that’s got us the points or into the next round of the cup. I’m sure that’ll be the same on Sunday. If he provides a goal for us then we need to do our job at the back to make sure that’s enough to win the game.”

Winning the Scottish Cup

“I don’t know when I’ll move on from Aberdeen, but I want to make sure I’ll have moved on from being in a successful team. I don’t want to be in the generation that came in behind the cup winners that didn’t really achieve anything. If I’m going to leave Aberdeen I want to do it with a Scottish Cup.”

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