Dicker claims Stewart ‘ didn’t do his homework’ over Dons move

Footballers often raise their game when they face their previous clubs but what can be forgotten is that those who were left behind can be similarly motivated to show their former team-mate that the grass is not always greener with another side.

Greg Stewart is back at Aberdeen and facing old team Kilmarnock. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Greg Stewart is back at Aberdeen and facing old team Kilmarnock. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

Greg Stewart was Kilmarnock’s joint-top Premiership scorer when he elected to join Aberdeen last week for the remaining five months of his contract with parent club Birmingham City, a move which Killie manager Steve Clarke claimed reeked of “bullshit”.

Asked how he would attempt to use his knowledge of the forward to nullify him when the clubs meet this afternoon, Clarke replied: “I’m not playing against him… unfortunately.” There was a pause for comic timing but the wounds are still raw.

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Irish midfielder Gary Dicker cannot understand why Stewart would choose to leave Rugby Park. Killie are second in the table (one point behind Celtic) and a second successive victory at Pittodrie would hoist them five points clear of Derek McInnes’ team.

“The Greg Stewart factor adds a bit of spice to the game but no one fixture will be focused on one player – there are another 21 on the pitch who’ll determine what happens,” said Dicker. “If we’ve eight or nine people playing well then it doesn’t matter what Greg does.

“I was surprised he went to Aberdeen but I’ve seen a lot stranger decisions in football; it’s a choice he made and that’s up to him.

“He said it’s about trophies but I don’t think he’s done his homework too much about what Aberdeen have won in the last few years.

“We enjoyed having Greg here. I’m sure we’ll have a chat before the game. But I’m sure Greg won’t be giving us a pat on the back come 3 o’clock and there won’t be many in our team doing 
the same.

“Me and Jordan Jones bombarded him with messages when the move happened. I don’t think he responded for a good six hours. He finally broke and looked at his phone and we had a bit of craic.

“He got launched out of our WhatsApp group chat; he threw a message into it and then jumped out straight away. We gave him a bit of stick over it when it happened and he got bombarded with a few voicemails and 
other things.

“People probably thought the wheels would come off with Greg away, a big TV game against Rangers and everyone jumping on the Jordan Jones bandwagon, but we won and proved again we know what we’re doing.”

Meanwhile, Lewis Ferguson hopes Stewart’s arrival at Aberdeen does not mean less game time for him.

The 19-year-old has racked up 24 games already for the Dons this season since moving from Hamilton. But the midfielder is enjoying the cut and thrust of life at Pittodrie as Derek McInnes’ men keep pace with Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic. Stewart has given the Reds boss more options in the centre of the pitch, but Ferguson is praying his manager does not now view the extra numbers as reason to give him a break from first-team duties.

“I don’t want a rest and I don’t need one,” declared the Scotland Under-21 international. “I’m a young boy so I can play as many games as I want right now. You can say with an older player that the amount of games we have could take an effect on their body, but I’m still young.

“I’m enjoying it at the moment and I love playing, so I want to keep doing that.”

Despite Clarke’s “bullshit” claim, McInnes does not believe the sight of Stewart in a Dons shirt will add extra spice to this clash.

“Not for me,” he said. “I said at the time I’m delighted to get Greg for the rest of the season. There’s nothing else really to say. He had a decision to make and he chose us and we’ll just get on enjoying working with him now.”