MANY footballers claim they will play anywhere to get a game but Aberdeen’s point-saving goalscorer Josh Magennis, owes his professional career to proving it’s more than a cliché in his case.
The Northern Ireland international started out as a goalkeeper with Cardiff City before converting to a striker and now sees his future as a full-back.
In fact, Craig Brown made it clear the only reason Magennis got a contract extension last season was that he was prepared to make the switch, and that versatility proved handy yesterday.
He was pushed back up front when the ineffectual Scott Vernon was replaced and, three minutes into stoppage time, deflected Andrew Considine’s shot past Darren Randolph to earn Aberdeen an unlikely point, with the result that a side which had failed to score in their previous four home matches claimed three goals overall and two in the last five minutes to limit unbeaten Motherwell to a one-point lead at the top of the table.
Magennis, who has done so well in his new role that he is in contention for a place in Michael O’Neill’s squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers, is typically happy to accept any task.
He said: “I knew that would happen. The gaffer told me I would be a right-back, but when I am needed I would be thrown up front. It has paid off, although I don’t think we should be in that position as a football club because we have enough quality in the dressing room to be winning games.
“You just need to show up and do your job or these sort of things will happen. If I just got to stay at right back and we were defending a 2-0 lead then that would be better, but that’s football.
“That is my third position now. I started as goalkeeper until I was 16. I then changed to a striker until the end of last season and I have been a right-back ever since.”
Aberdeen manager Brown was delighted to see his side show the resilience needed to end their goal drought in front of their own fans but was annoyed they needed to mount such a spectacular recovery.
He said:”My big complaint is that we lost three goals from set-pieces. That is unacceptable and unforgiveable.
“The players in the dressing room know that. It’s a team game but not marking at a free kick or a corner is an individual fault.
“You will never hear me naming names but the players know that certain individuals didn’t mark properly. That cost us three goals.”
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall knows that his side should be three points, not one, clear of Hibs and four in front of Celtic who visit Fir Park on Saturday.
First there is a trip to Ibrox in the Scottish Communities League Cup on Wednesday, when they are in the unusual position of being favourites against Rangers.
McCall was frustrated by a draw that felt more like a defeat but said: “We are not looking to rectify anything. Yes, we lost two goals and two points late on but I can only take encouragement from the manner in which we played.
“We now have two massive Old Firm games coming up and they are terrific matches to be involved in.
“I am sure when we go to Ibrox on Wednesday, they will have a siege mentality and possibly a full house which will be great for the players to go and play in front of.
“And then we play Celtic at Fir Park at 3pm on Saturday which is unusual, but the league placing is irrelevant to me as it is so tight. You only need to look at the games at the weekend. Anyone on their day can beat anyone.”