Barry Robson hails Aberdeen loan heroes and updates on Bojan Miovski injury after securing third place

Barry Robson praised goalscorers Leighton Clarkson and Graeme Shinnie, who struck twice, as Aberdeen secured third place and a European spot on a night of double celebration at Pittodrie.

The 3-0 win over St Mirren saw Aberdeen fans celebrate four goals – they also cheered news of a Rangers goal when their fierce rivals came from behind to level at Ibrox against Hearts, the Pittodrie side’s challengers for third.

It has been a remarkable turnaround at Pittodrie since Barry Robson and assistant Paul Agnew replaced the sacked Jim Goodwin in January.

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“I had been watching the team in the first half of the season and I could see good things in the team," said Robson, who stepped up from the youth academy to take charge after one of the worst periods in the club's history. “But they took on board what we are trying to do. We didn't come in and shout and make them better. I have been thinking for years about how I want to do things and they have taken it on board. But we need to come back in the summer and try to go again.”

Aberdeen's opening goalscorer Leighton Clarkson celebrates with manager Barry Robson. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Aberdeen's opening goalscorer Leighton Clarkson celebrates with manager Barry Robson. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Aberdeen's opening goalscorer Leighton Clarkson celebrates with manager Barry Robson. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The only downside – and it is a potentially big downside – was an injury to top goalscorer Bojan Miovski, who was stretched off after half an hour following a late challenge by St Mirren teenager Thierry Small. It was the on-loan Southampton player’s second red card in four matches.

Even St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson had no complaints. “He is an 18-year-old kid,” he said. “He is going to be a very good player. He made a rash decision and he has been punished for it. It was not the only reason why we lost the game.”

Clarkson punished St Mirren after the cheap concession of a free kick just outside the box to give Aberdeen the lead after 13 minutes with a well-struck free kick.

Miovski will certainly miss Saturday’s trip to Celtic Park – and likely North Macedonia’s forthcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Ukraine and England. "The x-ray is I think clear, but that is where the ligaments are,” said Robson. “I am hoping he will be alright, but I know he won’t make the weekend.”

Clarkson was a brighter subject of conversation – as was Shinnie, the on-loan Wigan Athletic player who returned from a four-match suspension to score a rare double.

“He is a talented boy,” said Robson of the on-loan Liverpool midfielder. “He has that quality that he can do that - he gives you that feeling when a player puts a ball down and you think, 'hmmm, this is a goal.' He has been a big part of our team. Him and (Yiber) Ramadani and Shinnie, you see the difference when they are back in.”

Shinnie’s goals came either side of half time in a powerful and inspiring performance from someone who fans will hope hasn’t made his last Pittodrie appearance. “That’s why we took him back,” said Robson. “It is why I made him captain as a loan player. He knows the club, he loves the players, he wants to be here. He has a great attitude with that drive and enthusiasm. People get caught up in nice pass, pass, pass but the game is so much more than that. He brings that enthusiasm and energy that you need.”



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