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Friday 14th June 2024

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We’ve got to pile misery on to Gretna, says Walker

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Sympathy for Borderers must not stop top-six push


The Grim Reaper may be looming over Gretna but Josh Walker believes Aberdeen’s hopes of a top-six finish will be dead and buried if they fail to take maximum points in their remaining matches before the SPL spilt.


Crisis-hit Gretna have managed to survive another weekend after cobbling together a team to head for Pittodrie today but Walker insisted the Dons have enough concerns of their own.


Jimmy Calderwood’s men are eighth in the SPL table, three points behind sixth-placed Falkirk and 12 behind Motherwell in fourth.


After today’s match, Aberdeen host St Mirren, travel to Caley Thistle and then face Falkirk at Pittodrie in their final game before the SPL splits.


Walker, who is hoping a deal can be struck with parent club Middlesbrough to remain at Pittodrie next season, still believes Aberdeen can qualify for Europe through their league position and he insisted the uncertainty surrounding today’s match has not affected the Dons players.


Walker said: “We have four games to the split and we have to win all four to make sure we get into that top six.


“Every game is important for us now and we need three points in each of them.


“Before every game the team talk involves getting back into Europe because the lads want to have that feeling again they have enjoyed this year. Hopefully, we can get in the top six and then push on and qualify for the Uefa Cup for next season.


“You don’t like to see clubs going through what Gretna are going through and you feel for the players and everyone involve. It is not a nice situation and, hopefully, they will get through it.â€


He added: “I think Jimmy Calderwood is going to talk to my manager Gareth Southgate in the next week or so. I have enjoyed being here and would love to stay.â€


Walker admitted he is looking forward to Tuesday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Celtic at Parkhead. After watching his Middlesbrough team-mates crash at home to Cardiff in the FA Cup, he is now hoping to pull off a similar shock in Glasgow.


He said: “I spoke to a few of the lads who played against Cardiff and they are obviously disappointed. We will be in their position on Tuesday as we will be the underdogs. Hopefully, we can do to Celtic what Cardiff did to Middlesbrough.â€

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