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Fit-again McNamara determined to make up for lost time

 

By Michael Gannon

 

Published: 17/03/2008

 

Jackie McNamara is determined to make up for lost time at Aberdeen, starting against his old club Celtic in the Scottish Cup replay at Parkhead tomorrow night.

 

The Dons defender has been plagued by injuries at Pittodrie, making just 10 starts in the SPL this season and three substitute appearances. He came off the bench in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Gretna following six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain.

 

Goals from Chris Maguire, Lee Miller and Barry Nicholson helped Aberdeen cruise to victory against stricken Gretna, but their attention is now firmly on tomorrow’s cup replay.

 

McNamara admitted his disappointment at missing big games, including the Uefa Cup last 32 matches against Bayern Munich, but insisted there are still huge challenges ahead.

 

He said: “It has been frustrating for me. I have not played as many games as I would have wanted. I have had a few niggling injuries.

 

“It was hard to miss out on so many big games such as the European matches against Bayern. But there are still big games left.â€

 

McNamara thought Aberdeen had earned their place in the semi-finals last week until Celtic’s stoppage time equaliser but now he is hoping to silence his former club’s supporters in the replay.

 

He said: “I thought we had done enough to get through in the first game, but it was not to be. Celtic showed the never-say-die attitude they always have, but we had enough chances to get through.

 

“Everyone knows you have to take your chances against the Old Firm and that is something we will need to do tomorrow. They will not be taking us lightly but the onus will be on them.

 

“Their supporters will be expecting to win and we have to try to frustrate them.

 

“It is a massive opportunity for us. Queen of the South would be a hard match in the semi-finals, they would have nothing to lose, but there is a great chance of getting all the way to the final if we can get past Celtic.â€

 

McNamara insisted it was vital to win against Gretna to keep alive their hopes of a top six SPL finish. He said: “We were in a no-win situation. It was a case of being professional and getting the three points we needed to try to get into the top six.â€

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I will be spitting fire if Maguire starts on Tuesday. He was absolutely awful against Gretna, he lost possession NEARLY every time he had it. Fuck sake, even when he scored he STILL gave it away. ;)

 

Glad Calderwood saw it and despite his goal he hooked him but you still get that feeling Jimmy will play him.

 

Miller and Mackie/Lovell for me, Mackie has a decent scoring record (by AFC standards) against the tims and Lovell has at least looked well up for it when he's appeared if the quality has been missing.

 

I'd be more inclined to let Lovell get the jersey.

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PACE is required Aluko on from the start, to (hopefully) get crosses into the box for Lovell to show us what he's made of.

 

Mcguire should be no where near the first team for this one. They are a bunch of hatchet men who delight in bullying teams and players off the ball and out of the game. Al la our 5-1 doing.

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PACE is required Aluko on from the start, to (hopefully) get crosses into the box for Lovell to show us what he's made of.

 

I agree Aluko on from the start as he is willing to run at players and attack. At the moment I am in two minds on how the game is going to go, but I think we will put up a decent show tomorrow.

 

p.s. Remember and do the predictor folks.

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Celtic v Aberdeen

 

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has no fresh injury worries ahead of Aberdeen's visit in the Scottish Cup.

 

However, midfielder Barry Robson is cup-tied, having played in the competition with Dundee United.

 

Aberdeen will be without Jeffrey de Visscher for the replay because of a hamstring injury he developed during a light jog on Sunday.

 

Jamie Smith, Richie Byrne, Stuart Duff and Derek Young will also sit out the game for Jimmy Calderwood's team.

 

The teams have to meet again thanks to an injury-time leveller scored by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink in the first game at Pittodrie.

 

Celtic have made a habit of scoring late on and fellow striker Scott McDonald said: "The Old Firm put pressure on teams and if you don't take your chances then you could be punished and that happens on a regular basis.

 

"I know that when I was at Motherwell, it seemed to be the case that we never took our chances and were punished."

 

A smaller than usual crowd is expected at Celtic Park and that suits Aberdeen assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl.

 

"You want to get the crowd quiet whether it be Celtic or Rangers you are playing and get them on the players' backs," he said.

 

"It was working at Ibrox a few weeks ago when we were 1-0 up and the fans were getting at them.

 

"If there are only 30,000 fans at the game, I hope there are 30,000 fans booing the Celtic players off at half-time.

 

"If there is a crowd of 50,000 or there isn't, I don't care.

 

"As long as they are getting booed off the park at half-time, that will do me lovely."

 

Celtic from: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Sno, McGeady, McDonald, Samaras, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Mark Brown, O'Dea, Hartley, Donati, Riordan, Killen, Pressley.

 

Aberdeen from: Soutar, Mair, Maybury, Diamond, Considine, Bus, McNamara, Foster, Walker, Severin, Aluko, Miller, Maguire, Touzani, Mackie, Lovell, Jonathan Smith, Langfield.

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Now that JDV is out i can see this as being suitable reason for JC to bring in McNamara and possibly play Foster further forward.

 

I would like to state that this is what i fear may happen and not necessarily what i want to happen....

 

You're right mate, it's a stick on.

 

McNamara and Foster on the left and Nicholson and Maybury on the right.

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Lets do these bastards!!!!

 

Work I had to do in the afternoon, moved to this morning, anyone got a spare ticket.... :-\

 

Might be worth just heading thorough on the off chance or phoning ticket office to see if there are any tickets for sale at Parkhead.

 

 

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