Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney has warned his team-mates that they have a fight on their hands to keep their jerseys.
Rooney came off the bench to score the winner in the Dons’ enthralling 4-3 victory over Partick Thistle, which moved them to the top of the table.
The Irishman has been struggling with a thigh injury at the start of the season and has seen new signing Stevie May start in his absence. However, he has no intention of simply playing second fiddle to the 24-year-old.
“I’ve been here and there has always been strikers coming in and I’ve always held my own so it’s not going to be any different,” said Rooney, pictured.
“I want to play every week and anyone in the team will say that. You don’t want to be sitting on the bench. You want to be playing, as a striker you want to be up there scoring goals and helping the team and win games.
“To come on and make an impact after that frustrating injury feels like the season has only really started now. I’m delighted but the main thing was four wins out of four for us.”
The way Aberdeen started Saturday’s match, there might have been some Partick supporters fearing a repeat of the 6-0 rout the Dons inflicted on their last visit to Maryhill back in May.
Derek McInnes’s side attacked with pace from the off and took the lead with only five minutes on the clock. Ryan Christie latched on to Shay Logan’s pass and fired past goalkeeper Tomas Cerny.
Thistle responded almost immediately, though, and levelled the scores on eight minutes when Erskine collected Blair Spittal’s pass and slid a low shot into the corner for his 50th Thistle strike.
Alan Archibald’s side were galvanised by that equaliser and took the lead on 13 minutes. Spittal’s corner was whipped in with pace and the ball cannoned off McLean. Goalkeeper Joe Lewis reacted well to save but Doolan showed his predatory instincts to bundle home from the rebound.
Doolan had scored against 11 out of the 12 Premiership clubs before and completed the set with one against Aberdeen. “It was annoying me a wee bit so it was good to get that goal against them,” he said.
Partick couldn’t make it to half-time in front, though. Stuart Bannigan was adjudged to have pushed Christie to the ground in the box on 42 minutes and referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot. Kenny McLean made no mistake to level the scores.
Aberdeen regained the lead after the break with a brilliant goal from Scott Wright, an exquisite right-footed shot from 25 yards into the top corner.
Thistle hit back again when Niall Keown converted a Spittal corner with a downward header but they couldn’t hang on for a point and Aberdeen, constantly searching for that winning goal, got it through Rooney’s glancing header.
The home fans’ disappointment was compounded when Keown was shown a second yellow for taking out McLean on the counter in stoppage time.