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Paul Hartley Interview

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Have to say was impressed with Hartley as captain. Pawlett was going off to be replaced and Hartley shouted him back before he went off to give him a pat on the back and have a few word with him. Then spoke to Fyvie as he come on and told everyone to focus even though we were 3 up at the time. Shows how much he cares and how he is looking out for the young guys, thought he was excellent

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PAUL HARTLEY strolls along the Pittodrie corridors and marvels at the photographs of Aberdeen's past glories.

Images of a special team of players led by an inspirational captain.


And it gets him wondering.


Wondering just what it would be like to be a successful Dons skipper.


Saturday's amazing opening-day hat-trick of penalties in the 4-0 rout of Hamilton Accies has already made him a 90-minute legend in the eyes of many fans.


But Hartley - the first Red for over 100 YEARS to net three on his debut - wants so much more.


No one needs to tell him the days of the Gothenburg idols will never return. But he refuses point-blank to accept that Aberdeen can never be winners again.


And Hartley, an SPL and Scottish Cup winner with Celtic and Hearts, is doing everything in his power to instil the right mentality in the dressing room.


The 33-year-old gave SunSport a revealing insight into how he's changing the mindset of a squad that has become used to failing.


Hartley, with the backing of boss Mark McGhee, has laid down the ground rules for a campaign he's convinced can be unforgettable - for all the RIGHT reasons.


Hartley, who rejected Hearts for a two-year deal at Pittodrie, said: "There's plenty of quality here and I am excited about the potential of the team.


"But good discipline is vital for the way ahead - and as captain I feel I've got to lead the way. The manager wants me to be a true leader on and off the pitch and I'm more than happy with that responsibility.


"It's a fantastic honour for me to be captain of Aberdeen - and I feel especially proud when I look at the photos inside the stadium.


"I look at Willie Miller lifting trophies and I'm desperate to follow him. It's a club steeped in tradition. It's not happened for a while here, too long. It's my ambition to change that.


"I got the boys together before the season and told them straight how I was going to go about things as captain.


"I explained what we had to do and what would happen if the rules were broken.


"They are rules everyone has to live by at the club - the kind I had at Celtic and Hearts and which served us well. I'm the go-between with the manager and the players.


"Everybody has to be together and I want to create the necessary spirit to carry us through the season and beyond.


"We'll have our days out, that's for sure. Team bonding is vital.


"But I will also make sure the manager needn't worry about our professionalism.


"We have to have a tough mentality. Ninth place last season was unnacceptable.


"I think everybody's bought into my thinking. I'm not in here to be the big bad wolf. I'm in here to look after the players.




"They are my team-mates. I want to look after them as best I can and I won't hesitate to go to the manager or Willie Miller if I feel something can be done to improve their lot.


"But we also have to do our bit. At my previous clubs there has always been a system of fines. It's nothing too serious but it's there for us and it's all for the good of the club. It's a little thing but it all contributes to making Aberdeen a better team.


"There will be fines for being late, leaving things on the training ground, not wearing flip flops in the shower, mobiles on matchdays. I also want to see all players involved in goal celebrations.


"Basic things, but little details that make sure you have a very disciplined, professional frame of mind. I want us to have a real winning mentality.


"Getting things right off the park can make sure they are right on it."


Hartley's been impressed with the calibre of young players at the club. And having produced one of the greatest debuts in the club's history he's not having a problem getting them to believe in him.


Hartley said: "I knew Willie Miller had high hopes of the youngsters here. He told me all about them during our talks. Now I can see what he's talking about.


"It's a privilege for me to be a mentor figure for them and I'll do everything I can to bring them on as players."


Hartley's hat-trick took the midfielder to 101 goals in his 16-year career.


He added: "It's been incredible. So many people have congratulated me and the reaction from everyone was brilliant.


"It gave me a real feeling as to what things could be like here if we won a trophy.


"I couldn't have wished for a better debut as captain but it wasn't about me on Saturday.


"It was a real team effort and THAT was the encouraging thing.


"There's more to come from me because I'm not 100 per cent.


"I loved Saturday - but it's only one game. And I want to collect medals here."




Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3098743/Zico-rules-OK.html#ixzz0xEEPqecd

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YES. Finally, a captain with the right attitude. I certainly like what i've read and this is something I've longed to read for a long time. He's a player that has been there and won this and that, so crucially has the winning mentality. Something which most of our players have never known. Lets hope the relationship between him, the club, the rest of the squad and the fans grows and he takes us to where we want to be.


Stand Free! :AFC:

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