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Scottish Premiership 22/23 season start

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Aberdeen v Motherwell


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Brown backing Well to derail Dons


Motherwell manager Craig Brown expects Mark McGhee to earn as much respect at Aberdeen as he did while leading the Fir Park club into Europe. But Brown believes the current Motherwell side have the defensive resilience to derail Aberdeen's resurgence.


McGhee, who led Motherwell into Europe in both of his seasons in Lanarkshire, has masterminded four wins from Aberdeen's last five matches, culminating in Wednesday's 3-0 victory at Hearts. That result moved them back into the top six of the SPL, above Motherwell on goal difference.


And Brown expects Aberdeen's rise to continue following an inconsistent start to the campaign.


"Mark McGhee is an outstanding manager who did exceptionally well for Motherwell Football Club along with Scott Leitch," the former Scotland manager said.


"So they will be anxious to get one over us. The job he did at Motherwell was exceptional, so much so that Hearts wanted him, Scotland had him on the shortlist. So you're talking about a top-class manager. They respect him at Motherwell for his achievements, and the way he handled tragedy at Motherwell was absolutely impeccable for the really sad Phil O'Donnell issue. Mark McGhee proved to be a statesman, proved to be a man of dignity.


"Everyone respects him at Motherwell and, if they don't already, they will soon at Aberdeen. He'll get Aberdeen where they want to be, I'm sure of that.... after Saturday. We hope to stop his progress temporarily but I'm sure he'll continue after Saturday."


While Aberdeen are on a high after their Edinburgh win and the news that 16-year-old goalscorer Fraser Fyvie has signed a new three-year contract, Motherwell have also been transformed in recent weeks. Brown failed to maintain his 100% SPL record at Falkirk on Wednesday but was satisfied with a point and another clean sheet after midfielder Giles Coke was sent off in first-half injury-time.


"There will be great enthusiasm in Aberdeen, they had a terrific result," said Brown, who confirmed his permanent appointment before the Falkirk match.


"To go to Tynecastle and get that result is absolutely outstanding. Unfortunately for Aberdeen I saw them lose at St Mirren a couple of weeks ago. So they are capable of going to St Mirren and losing and capable of going to Tynecastle and winning. So they are a bit like ourselves, although we have got more consistency defensively. We have had three clean sheets in the last three. They are scoring, it would appear. So it will be a very good game in Aberdeen."


It's not like Brown to show any respect towards Aberdeen. I see he's not changed his style now that he's back in management. Let's face it, even Scotland's best keeper couldn't get a regular game for Brown's Scotland team.

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