Central role suits Niall McGinn as he scores in fifth game in a row
ABERDEEN striker Niall McGinn feels he is in the best form of his career after finding the net for a fifth consecutive game during the 2-0 win over Dundee at Pittodrie on Saturday.
Aberdeen 2 - 0 Dundee
Scorers: Aberdeen - McGinn (14), Hayes (74)
Referee: C Murray
McGinn opened the scoring from a Ryan Fraser cross, while Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister turned a free-kick from substitute Johnny Hayes into his own net to seal the points for the Dons in this SPL tussle.
Both Fraser and Hayes drew praise from former Celtic man McGinn, who said: “Ryan deserves enormous credit. He showed how good a player he is, taking on players and creating chances for the likes of myself and Scott Vernon. He’s been brilliant since he came into the squad, and works hard week in and week out.
“It shows the strength and depth of the squad that we have players like Johnny on the bench. He’s a top-class player, and he did well to come on and get his goal.”
Former Celtic man McGinn has been better known as a winger rather than a striker in the past, but he is enjoying the central role with an Aberdeen side who are up to third in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. He has scored against Motherwell, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Dundee United and Dundee in recent weeks, not to mention his goal in Northern Ireland’s impressive 1-1 draw against Portugal in a World Cup qualifying match in Oporto earlier this month.
McGinn said: “I’ve played as a winger throughout my career, but I think having a bit natural pace helps me in supporting Scott Vernon up front. I’m just delighted that I’m playing every week, and it’s extra special to score the goals as well.
“We’ve got to take confidence from every game. We lost the first game of the season, but from then we’ve been playing really good football.
“We had a period where we drew three home games in a row 0-0 and had we taken more points from them we could have been in an even better position. The main thing is that we’re winning games and staying as high up the table as possible. That’s the priority.”
From the moment left-back Brian Easton went off with a hamstring injury after just three minutes, it looked like bottom side Dundee were up against it.
But they showed enough in their second-half performance to leave manager Barry Smith optimistic his side can make up an eight-point gap to the trio of St Mirren, Dundee United and Ross County, who are level on points ahead of them.
Smith said: “We have to keep rallying them. We have to instil the confidence that in the second half we coped with a very good Aberdeen side.
“We more than handled them, and created chances.
“I’ll be making sure through the week that they do take confidence from that. I think the goals today were preventable, but on the other hand we are creating chances.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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