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Flu bug sweeping through squad (apparently)

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Hodgkiss ready to break Hearts


By Sean Wallace


Published: 24/10/2008


READY: Aberdeen defender Jared Hodgkiss.

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LOAN star Jared Hodgkiss today revealed he is ready to face Hearts if the Pittodrie flu bug wrecks the Dons’ preparations.


Boss Jimmy Calderwood will leave his team selection until just hours before kick-off at Tynecastle tomorrow, amid concerns of a flu bug sweeping Pittodrie.


Influential defender Zander Diamond has been passed fit to play, but there are still concerns over other players, including midfielder and Mark Kerr.


But the West Brom defender Hodgkiss is desperate for the chance to face the Jambos.


“I am more than ready to play against Hearts because I came to Aberdeen on loan to play games,†he said.


“My fitness is great and I have no problem with playing at grounds like Tynecastle, where the crowd are on top of you.


“Parkhead is similar, and I loved it there. I can cope with the fans on my back.â€


Hodgkiss has been frustrated at the Dons’ poor start to the season.


Propping up the SPL table hit him badly, but he reckons the Dons’ league revival has begun after a 1-0 win at Falkirk.


And now he is looking to leapfrog Hearts and move into the top six.


“We must keep the momentum going after that win at Falkirk,†he said.


“It was very tough watching television and seeing Aberdeen rooted to the bottom of the table.


“I, and the rest of the players, take full responsibility for that.


“But there was always the confidence that we would start getting results if we stuck together.


“I was in contact with my friends at West Brom and told them Aberdeen are a strong team, they just need one win to get going.


“Hard graft got us that win last week.


“We will have to produce the same at Tynecastle and show our character again.


“We must build on that because Aberdeen can go on to be a real force in the SPL this season.â€


The win over Falkirk ended a five-game losing streak that had piled the pressure on the Dons.


But Hodgkiss is convinced they can mount a serious charge for Europe.


“A win tomorrow would draw us level on points with Hearts in the top six which is a real incentive,†he said.


“We want to push on to challenge for that European spot.â€

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