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  • Aberdeen: The View From the Opposition

    • By UWTB1893
    • 17th August 2017, 7:16 pm

    Saturday will see Dundee head up North to take on Aberdeen in the hope they can produce a positive result and stop it being three defeats from our opening three league games.

    In the lead up to this clash, we spoke to popular Dons podcast, ByTheMinute Aberdeen, on their summer transfers, just how important it was that Derek McInnes stayed at Pittordrie, this seasons expectations and what the outcome will be between the Dark Blues and the Dons.

    Let us now about yourself. When did you start supporting Aberdeen, what made you support them and what’s your best memory and moment while following them?

    I've been a season ticket holder for coming up to 35 years now. Best moment? Following your team away from home in Europe is always special, and I was over in Dnipropetrovsk the night Darren Mackie's header sent us into the UEFA Cup Group Stages.

    Aberdeen lost some important players this summer such as Johnny Hayes, Niall McGinn and Ryan Jack. How disappointed was it to see these players leave the Dons?

    There was an inevitability about Jack and McGinn, while it seems that despite signing a new deal in January, McInnes was resigned to losing Jonny Hayes should the right bid be made. Hayes and McGinn had been absolutely key to the success of recent AFC teams so there was a definite wariness about approaching the new season without them. Ryan Jack has his critics, and, don't get me wrong, we'll revel in it if his Ibrox career is miserable, but he his style of play was central to the way McInnes set the side out. 

    You did see the arrivals of Greg Stewart, Gary Mackay-Stevens, Ryan Christie and most recently, Stevie May. Do you feel that these players including the ones I haven’t mentioned have improved the squad? 

    As I said re the departing players, there was a degree of trepidation approaching the new season, but the signings that have been made look like they are at least equal in quality to those players that have exited. Most of them fit the classic McInnes signing model, in that they were succesful in the SPFL, they moved down South, and things maybe haven't worked out as well as they could have done. Beyond the ones you've mentioned, I think Greg Tansey could have a big season for us, especially at set plays, while the re-signing of Kari Arnason was greeted with huge excitement among the support, although we've yet to see him make an impact on the pitch

    The club went out of the Europa Cup in the qualifying stages. What was the expectation levels going into this European campaign?

    From the team and management they kept repeating the claim that the aim was the Group Stages. From my point of view, I know how perilous and difficult it was going to be to get to that point. To fall two rounds short has to go down as a failure, particularly as Apollon Limassol, who knocked us out, weren't a great side.

    Aberdeen have started the season as expected with wins in their first two league games and through to the quarter finals of the league cup. A second place finish and maybe success in one of the cups must surely be the aims of the club this year?

    You always want to keep improving. 76 points in the league last season, let's see if we can hit 80-85 this one. No point looking at what other sides are up, just focus on what we can acheive. As for the cups, I'd probably give you one of my limbs for a Scottish Cup win. You feel that on top of the consistency in the league, another trophy could really energise the support and the North East in general to back their football team.

    How important was it that Derek McInnes stayed with the Dons after speaking to Sunderland back in June?

    Huge. I know Sunderland were in quite a state, but it's still quite a statement to turn down the opportunity that exists there (not to mention the hughely increased pay packet). However, as with Jonny Hayes, we've seen that signing a new deal only means so much, and we live in fear of another offer for him which is more appealing. West Brom is the one that's a constant worry.

    Dundee fans will know all too well the threat that Stewart and GMS bring to the table but what other player should we watch out for this weekend when the teams meet?

    Genuinely hard to say, as the options we now have going forward mean that he could play any number of different players. One you probably won't have seen is Scott Wright, and exciting young winger who came through our youth set-up. Everyone associated with the club is desperate for him to make good on some promising early performances.

    Our record up at Pittodrie the past few years has been, well, horrific. Don’t let this cloud your judgment when picking a winner though! So, what’s your predictions for this game?

    I think we'll win, but I think if you're to have any joy, the best plan might be to come out and have a go yourself. Our defence hasn't looked the most solid in the opening weeks.

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