Aberdeen reaction: Dons need to get Duk in order, surprise star man, player ratings

Aberdeen got back on the winning trail with a 1-0 triumph over St Johnstone and we pick out three observations from McDiarmid Park.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin could be heard bellowing at Luis Lopes.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin could be heard bellowing at Luis Lopes.

Getting your Duk in order

Jim Goodwin made a career out of industry, grit and endeavour. It is unlikely that he will settle for anything other than a shoulder put to the wheel. On initial evidence, Luis Lopes – nicknamed Duk – has a fairly substantial one to put to use. At one stage Goodwin could be heard bellowing from the touchline for a static Lopes, who looks as though he is carrying a few pounds, to get a move on, a message that was delivered less politely than reported here. Startled into action, the 22-year-old forward went sprinting into a sliding challenge with his manager urging him to keep it up. One suspects some of that extra weight will come off under the watchful eye of his manager over the next few weeks.

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Why Hayes is so important

Jonny Hayes marked the weekend win with his 300th appearance for the club. Goodwin joked that he was sick of “blowing smoke up Jonny’s backside every week” but the influence of the Irish winger is clear to see, all the more so when it is a team of individuals that needs to come together to form a cohesive unit. Hayes’ celebrations at full-time were enthusiastic enough to belie his 35 years as were the sprints on the flank he was still putting in as the game neared to its closure. Hugging Ross McCrorie and then Lopes, whom he had a few pointers to offer, Hayes showed why he can be such a critical part of Aberdeen this term given the influence and experience that he exerts.

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Morris minor

Shayden Morris was barely on the park when the physicality he spoke of relishing this week came sharply into focus. Rugby tackled to the ground by James Brown, who earned a booking for his trouble, the striker found himself firmly in among the rough and tumble of the cinch Premiership. Still, he will soon discover that he needs to find his shooting boots quickly; he had two glorious chances in the closing stages of this game to score with a clear path to goal revealing itself on both occasions. One he blasted wildly wide, the other forced a save. On initial impressions, though, Aberdeen have the rudiments of a decent array of options in the final third if they can get players match sharp.

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Aberdeen player ratings: Roos 6; Richardson 7, Stewart 6, Scales 6, Coulson 7; Ramadani 6, McCrorie 7; Besuijen 7 (Morris 71), Clarkson 8 (Lopes 76), Hayes 7; Miovski 7 (Polvara 87).

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