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Magennis: Aberdeen have bottle to take top spot


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By Michael Gannon

 

Josh Magennis insists Aberdeen have bottle to take top spot after Dons blow second chance in two weeks

29 Nov 2012 00:01

 

THE Pittodrie side flopped against Celtic a fortnight ago, costing them the chance to go top, and then lost against Inverness in midweek.

Aberdeen striker Josh Magennis wheels away to celebrate his equaliser Aberdeen striker Josh Magennis wheels away to celebrate his equaliser

 

JOSH MAGENNIS last night insisted Aberdeen are no bottlers – despite blowing another golden chance to go top of the SPL.

 

The Dons could have gone clear at the summit but slumped to a 3-2 loss to Inverness at Pittodrie on Tuesday.

 

It was the second time in recent weeks Aberdeen passed up the opportunity to go out in front after going down to Celtic at home a fortnight ago.

 

Craig Brown’s men are still in touch at the top but Magennis, who fired a stunning double in the defeat, admits they will need to toughen up if they are to stay there.

 

He said: “Is it a psychological thing? I don’t think so. If you look at our team and the calibre of players we have, and the amount of games they have played in, it is not really acceptable to be saying it’s a mentality thing.

 

“As a professional footballer you have to be able to step up to the plate and handle the pressure of performing week in and week out for the team.

 

“If you can’t do that on a regular basis then you shouldn’t become a professional footballer.

 

“It just seems that although we have had a fantastic season the other night was the biggest blip we have had along this road so far. Hopefully we can dust ourselves off and look forward to the cup game.”

 

Magennis was fuming at the wasted chance and even more so by Aberdeen’s lacklustre display.

 

He said: “It’s a joke. We should have taken the chance to go top of the league for the first time in a long time but we just didn’t perform. Straight from the start we had five minutes on top but we just didn’t show up.

 

“I didn’t feel that Inverness played unbelievably. They’re just a direct team from back to front and we just couldn’t cope with it, even though it was the same back three, four that kept a clean sheet against Hibs last week.”

 

The Pittodrie fans have come out in big numbers this season and attendances are up from last year.

 

But they have been let down badly so far with their side picking up just two wins from eight games at home.

 

They face another huge examination in the Granite City with Motherwell dropping in on Saturday in the Scottish Cup.

 

Magennis said: “I don’t know what it is. It just seems when we play away and there is no pressure on us we perform. But when there is a bit of expectation and a chance to go top of the league it doesn’t go for us.

 

“It is so frustrating. Certainly Archie Knox and the gaffer made it known to us that if we want to be taken seriously as a top-four team we have got to be beating teams. No disrespect to Inverness but we should be beating teams like that even though they’re near the top of the league.”

 

Aberdeen, to be fair, haven’t been helped by a crippling injury list. Brown has added Chris Clark and Jonny Hayes to the list of wounded and now has 10 first-team players on the treatment table.

 

Clark went for an X-ray after Tuesday’s match but has not broken his leg as first feared. But he will still be out for a number of weeks while Hayes is struggling with a hamstring problem.

 

Ryan Fraser and Gavin Rae are closest to getting back to face Well but Magennis insisted it is up to the supporting cast to rise to the challenge.

 

He said: “It’s likes the gaffer says, even though there are players out injured it is time for other players to step up to the plate.

 

“If they have been sulking because they are not in the team and then they get their chance they have to step up and perform because of the calibre of players we have this season.

 

“Regardless of who is injured we have players to fill in for those positions.”

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