Aberdeen want Jim Goodwin flak to stop as reason for St Mirren's change of penalty taker revealed

Matty Kennedy is confident that fortune will turn Aberdeen’s way again after a painful seven days for the Pittodrie side since returning from the World Cup break.
Aberdeen's miserable week ended with a 3-1 defeat by St Mirren in Paisley.Aberdeen's miserable week ended with a 3-1 defeat by St Mirren in Paisley.
Aberdeen's miserable week ended with a 3-1 defeat by St Mirren in Paisley.

The winger himself looked in the mood in the early stages of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at St Mirren. Indeed, his opener from 25 yards – after he had already hit the post – seemed set to give Aberdeen lift-off after two hard-to-process narrow defeats to Celtic and Rangers.

Before long, however, Kennedy was filling in at right back after skipper Anthony Stewart’s red card meant manager Jim Goodwin was forced into a re-jig. Stewart was sent off for a professional foul when he tripped Jonah Ayunga after gifting possession to the striker. Mark O’Hara’s penalty hit the post before striking ‘keeper Kelle Roos and going in. The hosts struck twice more against the ten men, including another goal from the penalty spot, to leave Aberdeen desperate for some cheer this midweek at Rugby Park against former manager Derek McInnes’ battling Kilmarnock side.

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Kennedy spoke in support of under pressure manager Jim Goodwin. Aberdeen have now lost five of their last seven league outings and have an injury worry over Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes, who was taken off at half-time with an ankle injury. Stewart is also suspended.

"Every game is massive now,” said Kennedy. “We were three or four minutes away from great results against both Celtic and Rangers, who are the two best teams in the league. This (St Mirren) was an important game, too, but unfortunately we couldn't get the job done. We spoke in the dressing room afterwards about going to Kilmarnock and we just need to stick together, stay positive and eventually things will go our way again. We were absolutely flying before that five-week break. People tend to forget about how good we were then.”

Kennedy stressed that Goodwin should not be judged on one bad week when, with a bit of luck, Aberdeen might have taken four points against the Old Firm and perhaps at least one more point against St Mirren (Ylber Ramadani hit the bar shortly before St Mirren’s breakaway third goal, from Greg Kiltie, after Roos had come up for a corner). “I've been with 11 different clubs,” said Kennedy. “I believe that people should give credit to our manager. Look where we were when he first came to Pittodrie – we were in a bad place. But now other teams fear playing Aberdeen again and that's all down to the manager."

St Mirren skipper Mark O’Hara, meanwhile, has explained the logic behind him passing up the chance to take his third penalty of the afternoon. Having scored the first two (although he was only credited with one of them) the midfielder agreed to let Jonah Ayunga take over the duties when St Mirren were awarded a third penalty within a 25-minute spell either side of half-time.

“I looked at Jonah and he pointed to himself,” said O’Hara. “I just felt it was better going with a fresh idea. Jonah fancied it and I thought it was a good idea to mix it up rather than the goalie and me and having mind games.” O’Hara officially ‘missed’ his first kick as it went down as a Roos own goal. It is the first time in "seven or eight attempts" that the 27-year-old said he has failed to convert outwith a shootout situation.