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new boys finally get the meaning as dons bid to maintain climb


By Michael Gannon


Published: 15/11/2008


Zander Diamond insists the new arrivals at Pittodrie are finally getting to grips with what it means to play for Aberdeen.


The Dons suffered heavy criticism following an inconsistent start to the campaign as the new-look team struggled to make an impact.


But just one defeat in their last four matches means Aberdeen are up to fifth in the SPL table ahead of today’s trip to Hibernian and Diamond is convinced they are on the right track.


The calamitous defending which has haunted them this season reared its ugly head in the 2-1 defeat at Dundee United last weekend but the Dons recovered to claim an important victory, and a clean sheet, against St Mirren in midweek.


Diamond said: “I think the manager has brought in a lot of strong characters – which is just as well because I have seen people come here and go under. It is hard to come and play at Aberdeen because we are the third-biggest in Scotland with all the history that goes with it.


“If you don't adapt to that expectation quickly, then you can easily struggle. But the guys here can handle that and it's just a case of clicking together.


“Some forget that there were a lot of changes in and out over the summer. It takes time to gel, but I would like to think the signs are there that is happening now.


“We have made mistakes but it is how you react to that matters most and we certainly bounced back with the win against St Mirren.


“That helped us get things out of our system and the home win certainly took the pressure off us for what happened at Tannadice.


“Hopefully our problems are in the past but we don’t want to dwell on mistakes because I have gone through all that early in my career. You tend to take these things to heart when they happen to you as a youngster and that can simply make matters worse.


“Now you have to realise what you have done but make sure you get on with the game because it's gone and you cannot take it back.â€


After eventually negotiating St Mirren, Aberdeen are now looking to avenge their Pittodrie defeat by Hibs.


The Hibs winner was scored from the penalty spot – despite Hibs player Steven Fletcher deflecting the ball on to the hand of Aberdeen’s Charlie Mulgrew from an offside position.


Hibs have not won since – but Diamond is wary of their attacking prowess.


He said: “There's a front four really with Hibs as they have Derek Riordan, Colin Nish, Steven Fletcher and Dean Shields spreading about the place, which makes things difficult.


“But if we can exploit them by attacking them when their shape has gone, we can get the goals against them. We have proved in the past that we can cope with them.â€



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True. To be sitting on the bottom of the table and still come to work smiling means either one of two things:


(1) You don't give a shit about your job or the club you play for, or

(2) You have enough confidence in your teammates and manager to know that this is only a blip that will be rectified very soon.


It was very interesting reading a number of articles at the time that we were bottom of the league that all said the squad were in jovial mood and were loving their training sessions. Imagine this squad when they're sitting in 3rd place?!

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