Dons put friendship aside in bid to beat Ross County

Assistant manager Tony Docherty will put friendship aside in the quest for an Aberdeen victory over Ross County.

Aberdeen assistant Tony Docherty is good friends with County management duo. Picture: SNS Group

Dons boss Derek McInnes and his number two have personal and professional respect for the County management duo, Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds, the quartet all having been at Dundee United together. However, Docherty is focusing only on securing three Ladbrokes Premiership points at Pittodrie today and avenging the 2-0 defeat in Dingwall last month.

“We managed to get to watch County’s last game, they got a good win against Motherwell, their first win in four,” he told Aberdeen’s official website. “They have done great this season under Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds who are good friends of ours.

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“It is a difficult game as we found out when we played them recently in Dingwall so we know what to expect. They are well drilled. They have good individuals and they play to their strengths.

“We know we will have to be at our best to pick up maximum points on Saturday.”

Third-placed Aberdeen drew 1-1 at Hamilton last week but in their last home match goals by Adam Rooney and Jonny Hayes gave them a 2-0 win over bottom side Dundee United.

Docherty is looking for more of the same against County.

“We have a confident bunch of players and they are desperate to get back to winning ways,” he said. “Everyone is working hard to make it happen. I thought we were fantastic last time at Pittodrie against Dundee United.

“Hopefully we can have a repeat of that performance.”

County have put last season’s brush with relegation to the back of their minds and have started this term impressively, climbing to fifth.

Goalkeeper Scott Fox is closing in on a return to the Dingwall squad today after training all week, but manager McIntyre will be without forwards Michael Gardyne (ankle) and Brian Graham (groin) who both remain on the sidelines.