Craig Brown insists he is not feeling heat

CRAIG Brown insists he is not losing sleep over Aberdeen’s position in the SPL as he backed his side to make a late bid for a place in the top six.

The Dons sit ninth in the table and have picked up just one victory in their last nine outings in all competitions. They face a tough challenge when Motherwell come calling today, a side the Dons have failed to defeat in the league since 2008.

But the veteran manager refused to be downbeat about forthcoming matches, claiming he is not feeling the pressure. He said: “You’ve got an accountability to everyone here at the football club – the chairman, the board, the fans. You’ve got that in every game.

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“I want the best for Aberdeen. That’s my job. But I don’t feel pressure. I’m not losing sleep.”

Asked if James McFadden –back at Motherwell for a second spell – will be the one to watch at Pittodrie, Brown said: “He’s one of many. The Motherwell team are confirming they are the second best team in the country. We’ve put them out of the cup in the last two seasons away from home and the last two games we’ve played here have been draws. So we just need to try to edge a step further.”

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Meanwhile, Motherwell full-back Tom Hateley feels another season in Europe could be a big factor in keeping the team together. Hateley is among ten first-team players whose contracts are up at the end of the campaign. Another one, Nicky Law, has attracted interest from Rangers and the likes of goalkeeper Darren Randolph and 20-goal striker Michael Higdon are sure to be on other clubs’ wanted lists.

But Hateley is determined to hold on to second spot in the league and believes Motherwell’s fifth European qualification in six seasons could be vital.

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The 23-year-old said: “Second is definitely a realistic position for us to finish. If we get second and get some European football it could be a big difference between whether people stay or go.”