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P&J: Appliance of science keeps Dons fit for the run-in


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Appliance of science keeps Dons fit for the run-in

brown regime invests aberdeen with the power to finish strongly and hit late on

 

By Michael Gannon

 

Published: 21/03/2011

 

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown is convinced he has the fittest squad in the Scottish Premier League.

 

Brown and assistant Archie Knox have whipped the players into shape since arriving at Pittodrie in December and have reaped the rewards.

 

The Dons have become late-goal specialists, with vital last-minute goals against Hamilton Accies in the league and Dunfermline and St Mirren in the Scottish Cup.

 

Brown has placed extra emphasis on improving the squad’s fitness, with regular sessions with sports science specialists at Robert Gordon University on top of Knox’s gruelling training drills.

 

Brown said: “I do not think anyone would get the better of us in terms of fitness. There has been a marked improvement and we have seen the result in the science.

 

“The players were tested last Friday. They had tests which evaluated their stamina, body mass index and everything else. We work closely with (RGU director of sport) Filippo Antoniazzi, Lorna Cruickshank (facilities manager) and Neil Brown (sports programme manager). They have been a tremendous help.

 

“The players were really put through their paces and I was delighted with the results.

 

“I think they have already shown the benefits. We have been strong towards the end of most matches we have played and it has been reflected in the goals we have scored late on in games.

 

“Even the goal we conceded against St Mirren was scored by one of our players in Nikola Vujadinovic.

 

“Joking aside, of course, you need ability because being able to run all day will not win you matches. But fitness is vitally important if you want to compete. We had a lot of games in the last six weeks and I do not think anyone could accuse the team of showing signs of fatigue.”

 

Brown has rewarded his players with some time off this week following an arduous run of 10 games in five weeks. It is an opportunity for the squad to take a breather before a final push.

 

He added: “The players have earned a break but I can assure them they would have been in if they had not reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

 

“The season is still very much alive. We go to Motherwell in a fortnight and, if we win, we will be within three points of them in sixth place. It is a huge game. It is a big ask but if we win all four of our games I believe we would reach the top six.”

 

The Motherwell trip will be made without injured captain Paul Hartley and suspended vice-captain Zander Diamond. David McNamee will take advantage of the break to recover from groin and hamstring strains.

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Positive news. If the reason that we are scoring all of these late goals is down to improved fitness, then well done (yet again) to Craig and Archie. Two guys that know how to manage a football club.

 

Our team was really fit in 06/07 and we scored a good amount of late goals that season.

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Positive news. If the reason that we are scoring all of these late goals is down to improved fitness, then well done (yet again) to Craig and Archie. Two guys that know how to manage a football club.

 

They seem to have a good chemistry with the players.

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They seem to have a good chemistry with the players.

 

Obviously getting the desired reaction...

 

Says a lot when our oldest managerial team ever are the only ones in recent seasons to be embracing "new" technology. Especially when you consider it's right on our doorstep.

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“The season is still very much alive. We go to Motherwell in a fortnight and, if we win, we will be within three points of them in sixth place. It is a huge game. It is a big ask but if we win all four of our games I believe we would reach the top six.”

 

Ahhh..... top 6.

 

Remember those days?

 

Where are all those 'top 6 isn't an achievement' fellows these days anyway?

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I still don't see it as anything to write home about, would prefer us to finish as high as possible clearly but we're miles behind 3rd and that's the biggest issue we have.

 

Scraping into the Top 6 is hardly an achievement, and not only are we miles off 3rd, we're miles off 5th.

 

I guess the only positive about making 6th, is the extra money the club gets from the SPL.

 

 

Is there a case for finishing 7th and ending the season with a morale boosting 5 wins ?

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I fully agree with the above sentiments on the top six as an achievement for afc.  I remember early in the JC years a winner gets into the top six game at ict which we won 1-0 through steve lovell (great bounce incidently and i had a field day in the town that night).  Reason i mention it was during the game a guy behind me shouted at foster when he deemed him not to be making enough effort "Cmon foster min your playin for the top six here!!!!!!"  I couldnt help but think it was pretty pathetic that he cared so much about such a flimsy achievement.

 

Anyway i will say this though.  If we do make top six this season it is a bit of an achievement though for Craig Brown and not for the club.  When he took over i would have snapped your hand off for the opp still to be in with a shout of finishing in the top half of the table with 4 games to play before the split.  I cant help but think we would be already in the top six if fyvie and folly had remained fit though

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Anyway i will say this though.  If we do make top six this season it is a bit of an achievement though for Craig Brown and not for the club.  When he took over i would have snapped your hand off for the opp still to be in with a shout of finishing in the top half of the table with 4 games to play before the split.  I cant help but think we would be already in the top six if fyvie and folly had remained fit though

 

This is it for me, at the very least sneaking into the top six would provide reasonable grounds for optimism going into next season.

 

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This is it for me, at the very least sneaking into the top six would provide reasonable grounds for optimism going into next season.

Pumping the tims would give more folk optimism, my own thoughts are that finishing in the top 6 would be more a reflection of how awful the rest of the league is.

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Pumping the tims would give more folk optimism, my own thoughts are that finishing in the top 6 would be more a reflection of how awful the rest of the league is.

 

Have to agree. Getting to cup final would give me far optimism for next season that sneaking past piss poor St Johnstone, Hibs and Motherwell teams.

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