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EE: No need to panic over early defeats

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No need to panic over early defeats

Mackie thinks positive


By Charlie Allan


Published: 21/07/2008


THE Dons were left with faces as red as their shirts when part-time Peterhead beat them 4-0 in the pre-season friendly at Balmoor.


They have now failed to find the net in the three pre-season matches played so far, which puts more pressure on them for this evening’s clash with Brechin City at Glebe Park.


Striker Darren Mackie shares his thoughts on all of that and explains why he is confident Aberdeen will be firing on all cylinders when the serious stuff starts in the SPL in 19 days’ time.

Q What went wrong at Peterhead?


A We lost sloppy goals and never got our passing game going at any stage.


We were very poor generally and made it far too easy for Peterhead. Having said that, we still had scoring chances of our own, but failed to take any of them.


There are few positives we can take from the visit to Balmoor. We boosted our fitness a bit, but that’s about it. We know we are going to have to play a lot better tonight.


It’s annoying we let the Aberdeen fans down so badly who paid to come and see us.


We will be doing our best to make sure that doesn’t happen again.


Q What did manager Jimmy Calderwood say to the players in the dressing room after the game?


A Very little. He didn’t need to tell us the performance wasn’t acceptable.


We knew ourselves we had done badly, so there would have been little point in banging on about it. It will make us even more determined to improve at Brechin.


The task then will be to gradually improve our performances during our visit to Holland later this week.


What happened at Peterhead was disappointing, but we still have plenty of time to get ourselves up to speed.


Q Are you worried that the Dons have failed to score a goal in the three games played so far?


A Not in the slightest. The goals will come in due course, hopefully from tonight onwards.


The main thing is to make sure we are on form in front of goal by the time we play the first competitive game.


The first two or three friendly games are more about building up fitness.


You still want to win, but if it doesn’t happen early in the pre-season I’ve never been one to get too upset. I’ve been at Pittodrie a long time now.


Sometimes we’ve had great pre-seasons and started the league campaign poorly, on some occasions it has been the other way around.


It would be nice to win every match during the build-up, but it’s not a priority.


The priority is to make sure we are clicking as a team for the league opener on August 9, and I’m confident we will be.


Q Any thoughts on the imminent arrival of Darlington striker Tommy Wright?


A I’ve always welcomed extra competition.


It’s good for the club because it will keep all of the other strikers on their toes.


If we are to do well next season everyone is going to have to be on the top of their game.


Every new face coming in puts more pressure on players.


Q What is your main target in the new season?


A To finish as the club’s top scorer again would be nice.


Helping Aberdeen win more games than we did the last time is the top target though.


Last season was a bit of a wasted one for me because of injuries. It was pleasing that I was still able to score important goals against Dnipro and Celtic, but I missed more than half of the matches and that meant I was in and out of the side for most of the campaign.


It was frustrating because I never really got going. I’ve enjoyed the seasons when I finished as the leading scorer and will try to do that again.


But I really don’t care who ends up with the most goals as long as we get enough to ensure the season is one the Dons fans have good reason to remember.

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