ANDREW CONSIDINE believes manager Derek McInnes can lead Aberdeen to “something special”.
The defender has penned a new deal which will tie him to his hometown club until the summer of 2017. And Considine, 27, believes that, with the guidance of McInnes and assistant boss Tony Docherty, the Dons could be on the verge of a major breakthrough.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
After ending the club’s 19-year wait for a trophy with last season’s League Cup triumph, Aberdeen are now just two points behind Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic approaching the midway point of the campaign.
Considine said: “It is a great time to be part of the club. There is a real buzz around the place. I feel, the way things are panning out, there is a lot to look forward to, the confidence is high and that is showing on a Saturday.
“We have had some real lows during my time here. But a lot has changed. We have got some fantastic players and some great young boys. The fact we have managed to keep a hold of some of these key players shows the intent that the manager and Tony has to make sure we go on to bigger and better things.
“I am delighted to have signed a new deal and to be staying here for another two and a half years. I have grown up with this club and been part of it since I was 11 or 12, so it is my life.”
Aberdeen will kick off 2015 by welcoming St Johnstone to the Granite City today after four consecutive wins pushed them into title contention.
“It is a busy period at the moment so the fact we have hit some form has come just at the right time,” said Considine. “We can get another good result on Thursday but we know it will be a very difficult game as St Johnstone are also in good form.”
St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright insists his side are not travelling to Aberdeen as makeweights to the Dons’ potential title hopes.
Victory over Saints will put McInnes’s men top, at least for a few hours, as Celtic do not take on Partick Thistle until later in the day. While most neutrals would like to see a genuine challenge to the champions, Wright pointed out that his team, currently on a six-game winning run, have their own ambitions.
“We are eight points behind Aberdeen,” he said. “We have closed the gap over the teams above us with the run we are on. Not that we are in the title race but, if we win, we go five behind.
“Derek’s side, of all the teams in the league, are probably more equipped to mount a challenge to Celtic. But I still feel Celtic will win the league.
“The games against Aberdeen are always difficult, particularly at Pittodrie. But we beat them 1-0 at home this season with a Steven MacLean goal.”
The Northern Irishman sees out 2014 knowing his side’s place in history is secure after capturing the Scottish Cup in May – the first time the famous old trophy made its way to Perth since the club was formed in 1884. However, Wright is keen to make sure his players believe that cup final wins can come in twos. “I couldn’t have asked for a better 2014,” he said. “The players achieved another top-six finish, reached the semi-final of the League Cup then eventually went on to win the Scottish Cup. To be the St Johnstone team to do that is something special. But the fact that we won the cup last year, no one is thinking, ‘it is going to be another 130 years’.
“We have an intriguing cup tie against Queen of the South, certainly a winnable one. They will see it as winnable for them.
“We are three games away from another final and that is the way we look at it.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS