St JOHNSTONE manager Tommy Wright has warned that Aberdeen have as much motivation to win their final Premiership game as the Perth side.
Saints will clinch fourth spot – and a potential Europa League place – if they at least match Dundee United’s derby result tomorrow when they travel to Pittodrie.
The Dons have already clinched second spot and have rested players in recent games but Wright knows that a large home support will be turning out expecting victory. “They might have a bit of freedom but Aberdeen have had another great season,” he said.
“There will be a big crowd. Fair play to them, they have reduced the prices to £10 and £5. I think we are taking a really good crowd up as well. It’s Russell Anderson’s last game, so there is a bit of an occasion for Aberdeen. No one likes losing and they will want to finish the season in style in front of their own fans. It will be our job to prevent that.”
Saints edged ahead of United last weekend with a draw against Celtic but Wright is fully focused on securing victory so he does not have to worry about events at Tannadice.
“The only way we can approach it is to go and try to win the game,” said Wright, whose team will qualify for Europe if they finish fourth and Inverness win the cup.
“With it only being one point, we can’t go looking for a draw and expecting Dundee to get a draw off Dundee United. The only way you can approach it is in a positive way. And that is how we have approached the whole season, to be as positive as possible.
“We are going into the game on a run of really good performances. We have only lost two games in 12, which is a tremendous run for this stage of the season. And the performances have been getting better. The Celtic game was a perfect example.
“So I am really pleased with how we are playing but I am aware that it’s a difficult game against a very good side.”.
Aberdeen captain Anderson admits he has no idea how he will feel when the final match of his career comes around tomorrow.
The 36-year-old has made more than 400 appearances for the Dons but he admits the clash with St Johnstone is something completely new for him.
Anderson has spent most of the season on the sidelines with a knee injury but the club captain has remained a key figure at Pittodrie and will take up a commercial role in the summer.
After lifting the League Cup trophy last season for his hometown club, he will be awarded an emotional farewell from the home supporters.
Anderson said: “I actually won’t know how I will feel till I am out on the pitch. I don’t know if the pressure will be off or the pressure will be on even more because I want to win the game probably more than ever. It is clearly something I will never do again. It will be interesting to see how things pan out on Sunday.”
The former Scotland international added: “At the moment it feels like any other week with a normal training schedule but, once Sunday comes around, it will finally dawn on me that it is my final game.
“The best place to say my goodbyes is on the pitch. I can speak to people, I can speak to our sponsors in the lounges after the game and I will continue to speak to them in my new role but the best place to thank the fans is by playing at Pittodrie. It is the best way to thank the fans for the support they have given not just me, but all the players.”