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P&J: Now it’s Europe or bust


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Now it’s Europe or bust

I am sure I feel just as bad as the supporters, says a crestfallen Calderwood

By Paul Third

 

Published: 20/03/2009

 

Aberdeen could strengthen their push for a place in the Europa League this weekend. But even if the Dons do finish third this season, it will not be enough for manager Jimmy Calderwood.

 

Calderwood looked as if he had spent a sleepless night following his side’s Scottish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Dunfermline when he spoke to the media yesterday.

 

Jaded, softly spoken and clearly still devastated by his team’s failure to beat his former club at Pittodrie in Wednesday’s replay, Calderwood admits no matter how well his team does from now to the end of the campaign, it will not make up for missing out on Hampden to lower league opposition again.

 

Despite the supporters’ anger, despite the disappointment, there was no talk of resignation.

 

The manager will not walk away and said: “We have been third before, but the cup final would have been something special. We have been inconsistent this year and, while a third-place finish would be a fantastic achievement, I don’t think it will make up for missing out on another chance to play in a cup final.

 

“On a personal level it is a massive disappointment. We were in the quarter-finals and you allow yourself to dream again don’t you?

 

“We have been very strong at home and confidence was high, but we have lost again.

 

“We have been so close to a final and now a semi-final, and I am sure I feel just as bad as the supporters.â€

 

The Dons manager was in apologetic mood as he surveyed the wreckage of his club’s cup exit.

 

Yesterday was the day for an inquest at Pittodrie and Calderwood believes his side need a big performance at Hibernian tomorrow to begin to ease the pain.

 

He said: “It doesn’t get easier until the next victory and, hopefully, that will be Saturday as we have the break for the international games and I don’t want to feel like this for the next two weeks.

 

“It was a long night to say the least. We started the game really well with pace. The longer the game went on, people started to get restless and players started to doubt themselves a bit.

 

“We dominated extra time but we didn’t have that spark to get us a goal and when it went to penalties it was a lottery and we’re out.

 

“We have let the supporters, ourselves and the club down again.â€

 

The cup exit is the third time in three seasons the Dons have lost to lower league opponents with Wednesday’s Pittodrie exit against the Pars following a Scottish Cup semi-final loss at Hampden to Queen of the South last season and a League Cup exit against Queen’s Park in 2006.

 

Calderwood struggled to find a common denominator to the results, but believes tomorrow’s game at Easter Road will be a big test for his team.

 

He said: “We’ve had three huge setbacks in the cup competitions now, but they have all been with different teams. Doubts have crept in during the season.

 

“We had it at the start of the season and we had it again last night.

 

“You learn about people in adversity and it is a test of character for us now.

 

“Feelings are very fresh at the moment, so I don’t know if it is worse than last year. We knew if we won last year we were back in Europe and when we lost, it was a lot harder to take.â€

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The longer the game went on, people started to get restless and players started to doubt themselves a bit.

 

I'm presuming he's talking about the fans as the ones getting restless? So it's the fans fault now, is it?

 

I am sure I feel just as bad as the supporters

 

I fucking doubt that.

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We dominated extra time but we didn’t have that spark to get us a goal and when it went to penalties it was a lottery and we’re out.

 

Why is it a lottery, I hate that term. Is someone picking numbered balls out of a bag to decide whether you score or not. Fuck sake, your well paid professionals. If you know there is a chance of a penalty shoot out, practice!.

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We dominated extra time but we didn’t have that spark to get us a goal and when it went to penalties it was a lottery and we’re out.

 

Why is it a lottery, I hate that term. Is someone picking numbered balls out of a bag to decide whether you score or not. Fuck sake, your well paid professionals. If you know there is a chance of a penalty shoot out, practice!.

 

I think the lottery bit seems to come in when the keeper happens to dive the same way as the ball is going.

It really gets my goat when commentators say what a great pen it was, when if the keeper had jumped left instead of right, it would suddenly have become a terrible pen. If it trundles in because the keeper went the other way, that doesn't make you a great penalty taker, it just makes you lucky.

On the other hand, if you practice taking penalties regularly, (especially prior to a game where there's a chance you might actually have to take five) that has to be considered a sensible training routine.

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Partly, booing them off at half-time was pretty pointless and the berating of anything that went wrong was just ludicrous.

Don't agree with the booing of the players at 0-0 when we looked fairly comfortable. Only booed the team after the end of the game, because in my opinion they deserved it.

 

 

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Sorry, that doesn't wash. If that's true we must have the biggest collection of "sensitive wee souls" ever.

 

Do you not agree it really must grind the players down when the fans don't support them and only get on their backs.  I don't care how hardened you are, if you're constantly put-down by your own support it will have an effect.  F*ck, in any line of work if you've got people on your back you won't perform.

 

I mean when Duff came on there was total silence from the crowd.  As a player, how must that make him feel?  Is it too much to ask that we could applaud our players onto the pitch?

 

There just seems to be no patience to be honest.

 

I'm not saying the players are blameless but the support has to take responsibility sometimes as well.  We're happy to take the plaudits when we sell-out games and get great results against so-called better teams by backing the team from the word go.  Recent games against Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow, Bayern Munich, Dnipro, Rangers and Celtic spring to mind.

 

When the opposite happens we should realise we do play a part. :thumbsup:

 

Don't agree with the booing of the players at 0-0 when we looked fairly comfortable. Only booed the team after the end of the game, because in my opinion they deserved it.

 

This I agree with.

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Do you not agree it really must grind the players down when the fans don't support them and only get on their backs.  I don't care how hardened you are, if you're constantly put-down by your own support it will have an effect.  F*ck, in any line of work if you've got people on your back you won't perform.

 

I mean when Duff came on there was total silence from the crowd.  As a player, how must that make him feel?  Is it too much to ask that we could applaud our players onto the pitch?

 

There just seems to be no patience to be honest.

 

I'm not saying the players are blameless but the support has to take responsibility sometimes as well.  We're happy to take the plaudits when we sell-out games and get great results against so-called better teams by backing the team from the word go.  Recent games against Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow, Bayern Munich, Dnipro, Rangers and Celtic spring to mind.

 

When the opposite happens we should realise we do play a part. :thumbsup:

 

This I agree with.

 

I don't agree with booing the players, but that's beside the point I suppose. Booing at half time is crap, and it must get to them, but they weren't being booed in the first half...so what's their excuse then?

You would also hope that at least some of them would have the attitude "I'll show them" or that maybe some of them would realise "I'm getting booed cos i'm not doing enough" etc.

 

The points you make are valid enough, no denying that. It still comes down to this though:

 

We had 210 minutes of football against a side who are inferior in quality and we are now out the cup. We're not out the cup because some folk chose to boo. Look at the support we had at East End Park, and they still didn't do the business there either. So who will get the blame for that?

 

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I don't agree with booing the players, but that's beside the point I suppose. Booing at half time is crap, and it must get to them, but they weren't being booed in the first half...so what's their excuse then?

You would also hope that at least some of them would have the attitude "I'll show them" or that maybe some of them would realise "I'm getting booed cos i'm not doing enough" etc.

 

Whilst they weren't being booed as such, the moans and groans of the crowd were apparent.  Support and encourage, pretty simple really.

 

We had 210 minutes of football against a side who are inferior in quality and we are now out the cup. We're not out the cup because some folk chose to boo. Look at the support we had at East End Park, and they still didn't do the business there either. So who will get the blame for that?

 

I'm not suggesting we're out of the cup because of the crowd, it just doesn't help.  As for who's to blame, everyone played their part.  It's not one particular persons fault.

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Whilst they weren't being booed as such, the moans and groans of the crowd were apparent.  Support and encourage, pretty simple really.

 

I'm not suggesting we're out of the cup because of the crowd, it just doesn't help.  As for who's to blame, everyone played their part.  It's not one particular persons fault.

 

So everyone has to stifle their frustrations just so the poor wee lambs don't get upset? They're adults for christ's sake and professionals to boot.

It's a bridge too far to be banging on about the fans on this occassion, in my opinion.

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I don't think it is too far. More and more people are getting pissed off with this element in the support. The other teams' fans must love it cos our fans do their job for them!

 

Fault is being found by some with everything that the team do. I wonder is there another club in the world where the fans so obviously hate their own players and want them to fuck off out the club. It's crazy.

 

The management and players need to look at themselves and do some soul searching after the defeat... some fans should look at their method of 'support' too... but they won't, because our fans seem to think we're the only thing that is above criticism at our club.

 

:clap:

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I don't think it is too far. More and more people are getting pissed off with this element in the support. The other teams' fans must love it cos our fans do their job for them!

 

Fault is being found by some with everything that the team do. I wonder is there another club in the world where the fans so obviously hate their own players and want them to fuck off out the club. It's crazy.

 

The management and players need to look at themselves and do some soul searching after the defeat... some fans should look at their method of 'support' too... but they won't, because our fans seem to think we're the only thing that is above criticism at our club.

 

Again, I don't disagree with the sentiment there at all as I dislike that element as much as anyone else here. I just find it rather trite of them to come out with this after such a fucking disasterous result.

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