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P&J: Calderwood fearless with return message / Miller out for 6-8 weeks?


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Dons manager relishes his side’s Dunfermline challenge

Calderwood fearless with return message

 

By Paul Third

 

Published: 06/03/2009

 

He has been verbally abused there and once required a police escort, but Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood has no fears about returning to Dunfermline tomorrow.

 

Calderwood will make his return to the club where he carved his managerial reputation in Scotland but his departure for Aberdeen in 2004 was not an amicable one.

 

His move to Pittodrie was an acrimonious one with the public spat between Calderwood and his former chairman John Yorkston ending their professional relationship on the worst of terms.

 

Emotions ran so high Calderwood has been taunted by the Pars supporters on his previous visits to Fife but, as he prepares to make his return tomorrow with a place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup at stake, the Dons manager insists there are no longer feelings of bitterness on his part.

 

He said: “The truth will come out one day. It got very bitter at times and I was bitter at one time, but not now.

 

“I was banned from the dugout for one visit and the abuse I took from a supporter just behind the directors’ box was unbelievable. There should have been a steward there but there wasn’t.

 

“My relationship with Dunfermline soured towards the end but I had a wonderful four-and-a-half years there. The club paid £200,000 to bring me to Scotland when Jimmy Nicholl could have been appointed manager and I have a lot to be thankful to them for.

 

“We had a successful time there in winning promotion, finishing in the top six every season and getting the club into Europe. The club did me a favour as I met Jimmy, who has become a great colleague and a wonderful friend, even if he has cost me a few bob since.â€

 

Aberdeen have sold all of their ticket allocation for tomorrow’s quarter-final and Calderwood wants to repay the Dons supporters who will make the trip to East End Park in large numbers.

 

He said: “I’m not apprehensive about going back at all. We will have 5,500 supporters there, it should be a sellout, and I will see some of my former players in Greg Shields, Scott Wilson and Scott Thomson. They are all great professionals who did brilliantly for me.

 

“My return adds an edge to the game for Dunfermline and it won’t make life any easier for me as they will be determined to get one over on me. It will be great to see the stadium full again and I am sure our supporters will make it a special occasion.â€

 

Gary McDonald and Lee Miller have been ruled out due to hip and hamstring injuries respectively, with Calderwood admitting he fears his initial diagnosis of a three-week absence for Miller was an optimistic one.

 

He said: “It doesn’t look good for Lee and it could be six to eight weeks. He was struggling this morning just walking. It’s a blow as Lee has been doing great for us.â€

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JC regularly under promises and over delivers when it comes to periods out through injury (with the exception of Smith & Byrne  :-\ ). I'm guessing it will be about 3-4 but thats a good period to put some new energy into our strike force. Tommy gun time  :thumbsup:

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