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Beating Kilmarnock in CIS Cup will appease fans

 

ABERDEEN boss Jimmy Calderwood believes an away win over Kilmarnock tomorrow night will help calm the Red Army.

 

After earning just one point from four home matches at Pittodrie, Calderwood is confident his side's impressive form on the road can see them through to the quarter-finals.

 

Dons football director Willie Miller insists a cup final place is vital to his plan to re-build the club and make it a major power once again.

 

And Calderwood said: "I know the supporters are frustrated by what's happened at Pittodrie and the best way to start repaying them is to give them another long cup run to savour.

 

"It has been poor in terms of home results but we have a one hundred per cent record away from home and haven't conceded a goal on our travels yet.

 

"Hopefully that's not tempting fate for the game at Kilmarnock but we go there with confidence even if it's the hardest tie we could have got at this stage.

 

"It's not what we were looking for as a seeded team in this round so the draw wasn't kind but we seem to have the bit between our teeth away from home.

 

"We have only lost six league goals overall after six games and if you continue that ratio until the end of the season you wouldn't be too unhappy.

 

"If you want to win trophies then you have to do well at difficult venues and hopefully, we will come back from Ayrshire in a good mood again.

 

"There is still loads of time to do something about our poor home league form but this competition is settled on the night and we want to be involved in every competition.

 

"We got to the semi-finals of both competitions last year and it was absolutely fabulous as it created so much interest and excitement at the club.

 

"The only disappointment was not going all the way to the Final and this is our chance to make amends, we are determined to keep the run going."

 

Calderwood was at Rugby Park to see Kilmarnock lose to Celtic on Sunday but still reckons it will be tough to maintain their formidable away record.

 

He said: "I know it will be a hard game, it always is down there and Jim Jefferies has steered Kilmarnock to a good start again.

 

"But we want to make sure we get this club back to a final and hopefully win it."

 

Which impressive away form would this be? Three 1-0's against Motherwell, Ayr and St Mirren, none of which could be described as impressive wins on their own, possibly getting the job done.......

 

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is bossu definitely starting?

I may need to change my prediction

 

Jimmy did say before the last round that Bossu would be the goalkeeper for our league cup matches.

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Nicholl hopes midfielder will be key in turning tide

 

By Paul SMith

 

Published: 24/09/2008

 

ABERDEEN assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl believes Gary McDonald is ready to solve the club’s goalscoring problems.

 

The Dons have yet to score more than once in any match this season. McDonald, with one goal to his credit from seven appearances, has the dubious honour of being joint leader of the scoring chart.

 

Nicholl believes the tide is about to turn and the stage is set for the midfielder as he returns to face former club Kilmarnock for the first time since leaving in 2006.

 

The Dons travel to Killie tonight in the third round of the League Cup and have no intention of playing safe. Nicholl said: “I have heard people say Gary McDonald is still settling in but I think he has done well already. He’s playing his own game but just not converting the chances. He’s been getting into the box and if he keeps doing that at Rugby Park he could get one or two on the night. He has to keep getting forward, just as the whole team do.â€

 

The Dons have been told winning a knockout competition this season is a priority after falling in the semi-finals in the League Cup and Scottish Cup last term.

 

Nicholl said: “The only way we can get over last year’s disappointment is to go one step further this time.â€

 

Jamie Smith and Andrew Considine are both out through injury tonight, while Jamie Langfield will make way for Bertrand Bossu, who played in the last round of the competition at Ayr.

 

McDonald a man with a mission

ABERDEEN PLAYER AIMS TO SILENCE KILMARNOCK SUPPORTERS AND CRITICS OF THE DONS TONIGHT

 

By Paul Smith

 

Published: 24/09/2008

 

Older, wiser and with a burning desire to win the League Cup. Aberdeen midfielder Gary McDonald will walk back through the front door at Rugby Park tonight with a twin mission.

 

McDonald will be aiming to silence the supporters of his local team and the critics of the Dons in one fell swoop.

 

The 26-year-old grew up in Kilwinning, just 10 miles from Rugby Park, and his first job on leaving school in Ayrshire was as a trainee professional with Killie.

 

He spent seven years with the Rugby Park side and made more than 100 first-team appearances.

 

Sentiment will be set aside tonight as he arrives in the red of his new club bidding for a place in the fourth round of the cup.

 

He said: “I hope I’ll be well received after my time there. Some of the other players I played alongside are still at the club and I keep in touch. It’s a very good club for bringing through young players and manager Jim Jefferies has done well for the club.

 

“Awarding new contracts to Jim and Billy Brown brings stability to the club. I liked working with them. Bobby Williamson was the manager when I signed, but almost as soon as Jim and Billy took over they gave me my first start and a new contract.â€

 

McDonald left for Oldham in 2006 but this summer found himself back in the SPL with Aberdeen and facing the prospect of lining up against the team he made his name with.

 

Charged with replacing the creative spark Barry Nicholson once provided in the Dons midfield, McDonald has shown glimpses of the attacking threat he can pose to the opposition this season. His only goal of the campaign came against Hamilton but he intends to quickly add to his haul.

 

He said: “I feel my form is getting better with every game. I missed one or two good chances against Dundee United at the weekend – if I’d taken even one of them it would have been an entirely different game. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall for you but the manager wants me to keep getting into the box and that is what I will continue to do.â€

 

McDonald, more than most, knows tonight’s opponents cannot be underestimated but is confident Aberdeen can put their home troubles behind them and return with a victory from their latest road trip.

 

He said: “Winning a cup is the aim at the outset of every season but you need a bit of luck. If we beat Kilmarnock, we could be just a couple of games away from where we want to be.

 

“Hopefully, it will be an open game. Kilmarnock have exciting players going forward, so we’ll have to defend well first and foremost.

 

“I don’t know if it’s better to be playing this tie away from home but our record on the road is certainly better.

 

“Our last two home games have not been good at all but we can go there confident of doing well because of our 100% away record this season.â€

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Bossu is a terrible player, you just have to look at his previous clubs and how many times he has played for them.

 

I was watching one of those football howler programmes on BBC 3 a couple of months ago, and Bossu was on one of them while playing for another club.

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I remember having the same sense about Barry Nicholson in his first season with us as I do about Gary. Eventually Barry turned into a pivitol player for us, lets hope we see the same with him. Games against former clubs often bring out the best in players.  :thumbsup:

 

Anyone have any more straws I can clutch ?

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