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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

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Derek McInnes applauds his veterans


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DEREK McInnes has hailed his golden oldies for hauling Aberdeen back into the race to be best of the rest in the Premiership.

The Dons boss was thrilled to win at St Johnstone last Saturday to get back on track following consecutive league defeats to Hearts and Celtic.

The 2-0 victory was only the Perth side’s second home defeat in 12 months – and McInnes believes it was down to his experienced campaigners such as Russell Anderson, Barry Robson, Jamie Langfield and Scott Vernon.

Veteran skipper Anderson is still bossing it at the back at 35 while Robbo is the same age but has not lost any of his trademark dynamism in midfield.

Langfield is in the form of his life at 33 and while Vernon may be the youngster of the group at 29, his experience was vital after coming in from the cold.

The win fired the Dons up to fourth – on 26 points along with Dundee United and on the tail of second-top Inverness with mouth-watering clashes against both coming up over the festive period.

The Pittodrie boss said: “We have good presence and experience right through the team – qualities valued by any manager.

“Saturday was the type of game where we knew having players to guide the younger ones through would be vital.

“We knew there would be no quarter given and we would have to earn our win. The experience and ability to make the right decisions came to the fore.

“We had a lot of fine displays but those four deserve a special mention.”

Fans favourite Vernon has had to fight to get in the side this season but McInnnes insists the hitman is firmly part of his plans along with the 30-plus brigade.

He said: “Scott did a great job up front. He retained possession of the ball well and was a great outlet for his team-mates.

“He led the line really. I know Scott maybe hasn’t started as many games as he’d have liked but I trust him and know what he is capable of doing for the team.

“Barry played a key role in midfield as well. His anticipation of where the ball might drop was top class and that only comes with experience.

“We didn’t see too much of his tremendous passing because he was happy doing the job that needed done.

“Russell’s contribution was outstanding. You want players who are prepared to go to war for you and Russell is one of those.

“We have a few options at the back to play in there but he is a first pick because his level of performance is always a high standard.

“He works hard Saturday to Saturday to make sure he is capable of being at his best in every game.

“Jamie Langfield contributed with a fantastic save at1-0 and showed great awareness to throw the ball out to Niall for the second goal.”

McInnes is sweating on the fitness of Ryan Jack ahead of Saturday’s clash with St Mirren at Pittodrie after the Scotland Under-21 ace limped off in Perth with a calf knock.

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We do have a really good mixture of youth and experience. Russell has generally been really good since returning. I still think his contribution is underestimated by many. See cup game v Motherwell when young Joe was sent off after 12 minutes as an example. Russell's never had amazing pace but he's still fast enough to do his job for us. Barry is a fine player when he's not injured or suspended and is the best crosser of the ball we've had in a while. Langfield is having a not too bad season thanks largely to the 3 or 4 quality players he has in front of him.  :P I honestly don't think we're far away from the best team we've had since the 90s. We just need to become less consistently inconsistent.

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As I've said before I'm completely delighted to have been so wrong about Russell. and I'm happy to keep being reminded of it weekly.

 

I suspect he's now better than he ever was first time round (I don't get to see live games unless on RedTV and even then I don't really get to watch him throughout a game) and I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of his longest runs in the team ever.

 

Humble pie being well and truly eaten after every game!

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I wouldn't say he's as good as he's ever been. In 2007 just before he went to Sunderland he was at his peak for us IMO my opinion. He was the best centre half in the SPL premier league. He's definitely benefiting from playing alongside Reynolds and Considine (who I now consider to be the best defender at the club).

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^^^ What he said.

 

I wouldn't underestimate the part Reynolds plays in all this, we have a very solid, reliable back 4. All of them have strength, height and experience, but I think Mark Reynolds pace is an absolutely key element of our success.

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Anderson and Reynolds are a good combination.  It was a little hard to tell from the highlights but was considine at LB and how did he do?  I used to hate it when we had to play him there, mind a game against ICT where Hayes tore him a new one every five minutes

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As I've said before I'm completely delighted to have been so wrong about Russell. and I'm happy to keep being reminded of it weekly.

 

I suspect he's now better than he ever was first time round (I don't get to see live games unless on RedTV and even then I don't really get to watch him throughout a game) and I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of his longest runs in the team ever.

 

Humble pie being well and truly eaten after every game!

 

You've just gone from one extreme to the other - I doubt we would have lost many goals at all if Anderson was well & truly better than first time round  :P

 

You must really be regretting that first remark you made.......................teehee  ;D

 

 

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I wouldn't say he's as good as he's ever been. In 2007 just before he went to Sunderland he was at his peak for us IMO my opinion. He was the best centre half in the SPL premier league. He's definitely benefiting from playing alongside Reynolds and Considine (who I now consider to be the best defender at the club).

 

If he's still playing football, Russell Anderson is the best defender at the club.

 

Reynolds is a cracking player and Considine is a player I've always liked but neither of them have the influence Anderson has, and that is part of being a good player. When he's not in the team Reynolds, Consi, Hector etc can not make up for the experience or the composure Anderson brings. 

 

Last Saturday Russell hardly broke a sweat but was one of the best players on the park. At one point he was barking instructions from 15 yards away to Hector and Hayes as they closed down Stevie May. We came away with the ball and an attack was started, both Hector and Hayes turned and gave Anderson the thumbs up in thanks.  That sort of influence is invaluable to a team like Aberdeen who have so many young players particularly in the defensive area. 

 

The laughable thing is that you read elsewhere that supposedly Russell has "always struggled against big, strong centre forwards" and loads dive in to agree.  The same Russell Anderson whose best Scotland performance involved him having John Carew in his back pocket for 90 minutes? Aye, very good.

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If he's still playing football, Russell Anderson is the best defender at the club.

 

Reynolds is a cracking player and Considine is a player I've always liked but neither of them have the influence Anderson has, and that is part of being a good player. When he's not in the team Reynolds, Consi, Hector etc can not make up for the experience or the composure Anderson brings. 

 

Last Saturday Russell hardly broke a sweat but was one of the best players on the park. At one point he was barking instructions from 15 yards away to Hector and Hayes as they closed down Stevie May. We came away with the ball and an attack was started, both Hector and Hayes turned and gave Anderson the thumbs up in thanks.  That sort of influence is invaluable to a team like Aberdeen who have so many young players particularly in the defensive area. 

 

The laughable thing is that you read elsewhere that supposedly Russell has "always struggled against big, strong centre forwards" and loads dive in to agree.  The same Russell Anderson whose best Scotland performance involved him having John Carew in his back pocket for 90 minutes? Aye, very good.

 

Hard to disagree with any of that, Bobby. And aye I remember that Scotland game well.

 

Another criticism of Russell I've heard throughout his whole career is that he's not vocal enough. I've always argued otherwise and you've backed up that view point there. I mind one game at Tannadice when I think it was Michael Hart and Dick Byrne were having a bit of a barney. Russell went over to them, said his piece and walked away. He got slated for this by some for not doing enough. I think some want him to be a full time baby sitter. I've said it before and I'll say it again. You don't need to spend the whole game screaming and shouting to be vocally adequate.

 

 

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