Goalkeeper Joe Lewis always believed he could shine if given the chance – but he admits the faith of Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been a big factor in his impressive form for the Dons.
Lewis was called up for the full England squad aged 21 after representing his country through the age levels and went on to make almost 200 appearances for Peterborough in the subsequent four years. But a move to Cardiff did not work out as planned and he made only five appearances in four years, although he had more fruitful loan spells with Blackpool and Fulham.
Lewis, 29, hoped a summer transfer to Pittodrie would give him the platform to rejuvenate his career and he has done just that with a string of excellent displays and an assured manner in dealing with crosses.
Speaking ahead of the visit of St Johnstone, Lewis said: “The belief that the manager has given me definitely helps. I have always had belief in myself, that if I got a good run of games I will produce performances. And I feel this season I have done that. I think I have played 24 games already this season. That’s a fantastic achievement for myself, I think I only played 10 last season.
“But looking forward I just need to carry on with the consistency. I think goalkeepers are judged by mistakes more than anything and, touch wood, I have not made too many glaring errors.
“I need to make sure I stay on top of that with the goalkeeping coach but certainly the belief the manager has given me has definitely helped. He has given a clear direction on what type of goalkeeper he wants me to be. Hopefully so far I have repaid that belief he has had in me and I will look to keep doing that.”
Aberdeen and St Johnstone’s most recent performances point to an exciting encounter at Pittodrie this afternoon, according to Saints’ Tam Scobbie.
The Dons bounced back from defeats by Celtic in the Betfred Cup final and Rangers in the league with a 5-1 thrashing of Kilmarnock on Tuesday.
Saints beat Inverness 3-0 at McDiarmid Park last week to cement their fifth-place position in the table following four games without a win.
The Saints defender, hoping for his first start since recovering from a “frustrating” knee injury sustained against Hearts in August, believes Pittodrie could host a thriller today.
“It is going to be a tough game, it always is,” said Scobbie. “We are coming off a great result against Inverness while they had a fantastic result against Kilmarnock during the week.
“So I think it is two teams who are going to go for it and look to pick up the three points and it is a big three points. We are sitting a few points ahead of the teams that are below us.
“So we want to keep kicking on and I am sure Aberdeen want to kick on and cement themselves as the second-best team in this league because obviously Celtic are miles ahead of everyone else.”