Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis: Epic fightback in vain unless we reach semis

Last month’s 0-0 draw at 
St Mirren sparked talk of a 
crisis at Aberdeen but keeper Joe Lewis knows a win at the same venue tonight will help dispel such mutterings.

Aberdeen keeper and captain Joe Lewis is desperate to become a history-maker at the club. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Aberdeen keeper and captain Joe Lewis is desperate to become a history-maker at the club. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS

The Dons players were jeered at the final whistle and a small section of disgruntled supporters called for manager Derek McInnes to sacked.​

That number intensified after another 0-0 draw at home to Kilmarnock in the last round of the Scottish Cup, but a gusty come-from-behind victory in the replay helped repair the breach.​

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Now the Aberdeen captainbelieves reaching a fourth successive semi-final in the competition will bring harmony on and off the field as the Dons also try to revive hopes of a third place Premiership finish.​

They certainly won’t lack backing as the away end for the quarter-final tie quickly sold out and Lewis is sure the travelling fans will be returning from Paisley in a better mood this time.​

He said:“I’ve been in football long enough now to realise supporters and players frustrations can be huge after a poor performance or result.​

“You get supporters together and want them to make noise but when the performance is poor you expect them to 
criticise. But the players here are an honest bunch who want it as much as the supporters.

“We’ve still got a great opportunity to win silverware this season and, if we did, it would be a big success for the football club and for the supporters who have stuck by us.​

“We understand that frustration they feel sometimes but the only way to answer it is by getting results and getting to a semi-final would be a great way to get our season going.​

“We’ve won our last two away games and we will go down there and be positive.”​

St Mirren’s last Scottish Cup win over Aberdeen was in the 1959 final played in front of 108,000 at Hampden Park.

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However, it is a place in the Pittodrie club’s history that Lewis is after. The Englishman was only two years old the last time the Dons lifted the trophy in 1990 and the competition has been a source of frustration since he joined the club.

It took a last-minute goal from Celtic’s Tom Rogic to get the better of them in the final three years ago, while Motherwell and Celtic each inflicted 3-0 defeats on Aberdeen in the last two semi-finals.​

However the way the Dons recovered to win 4-3 after being behind with two minutes left of normal and stoppage time at Rugby Park in the last round could suggest their name is on the cup this time.

Nothing would make Lewis happier than joining the likes of Martin Buchan, Willie Miller
and Alex McLeish on the list of Aberdeen captains who have lifted the trophy.

He added:“Runners-up medals are good memories of what you have done in your career but a winners one is one I would put up on the wall.​

“I’ve got a box with all my shirts and memorabilia. I haven’t got anything up on walls, it’s all in a box, but when I retire I’ll go through it and reflect on my career. I was never at a club in England that had a realistic chance of winning the FA Cup but up here I am at a club capable of winning.​

“There are a few lads still here from when we won the League Cup in 2014 and I wish I had been part of that. ​

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“I’m jealous of the guys who were part of it and it is certainly motivation, just as it for those who were here and are desperate to add a Scottish Cup winners’ medal to their League Cup one.​

“You could see that in the way we kept fighting right to the end of normal time and extra time in the last round. That game will live in the memory but it means nothing if we don’t capitalise.”

Winger Ryan Hedges is injured but midfielders Funso Ojo, inset, and Craig Bryson return after missing last week’s home defeat by Ross County.