Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin on Ryan Porteous fallout: 'Hibs reaction to what I said doesn't really bother me'

Three red cards in the previous five meetings of Aberdeen and Hibs and a post-match spat after the September encounter have marked recent clashes between the sides.

The latter incident resulted in an SFA sanction for Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin, who will be absent from the Pittodrie technical area for tonight’s Premiership encounter.

But the Dons gaffer, who saw his touchline ban for accusing Scotland defender Ryan Porteous of “blatant cheating” reduced on appeal, says that it would be lazy and wrong to suggest that his teams are a combative bunch of hammer throwers.

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“You could argue about the last red card [for Liam Scales in the 3-1 defeat in Leith] but I don’t think there has been anything too malicious. But we don't want the players to get too emotional about the occasion.

Referee David Dickinson sent off Aberdeen's Liam Scales for his foul on Hibs' Ryan Porteous when the teams met in September. Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group

People often look at my teams and think that they are full of thugs and guys who go around kicking lumps out of people but if anyone cares to do a bit of research or digging then they will find that my team at St Mirren, over the two and a half years, was one of the most disciplined teams in the league and if you look at the yellow and red card count this season, I’m pretty sure you will find that Aberdeen are right up the top of the fair play league.”

In the Premiership they are joint top of the red card league, with just one, and third best when it comes to the yellow card count, having collected just two more than Hearts but they have conceded fewer fouls than any other top tier side.

“I have no concerns about ill-discipline from my players. We try to be an aggressive team without the ball, in the right manner, but we haven’t got a problem with discipline and the stats are there to prove that.”

But Goodwin has stirred up some ill will with his dig at Porteous. “I am more focused on Aberdeen and my players so what the Hibs reaction is to what I said doesn't really bother me, to be honest with you. I’m just really looking forward to the game. I love playing night football. I think the fans will be excited for it as well.

“I'm pretty sure Hibs will bring a good travelling support and I’d imagine that the atmosphere will be great but I doubt any outside influence, whether that’s me or anyone else, will have too much of an impact on what goes on inside the lines.”

He does believe that Scales’ early exit in the previous match helped Hibs claim victory, though, and wants to avoid a similar scenario as they attempt to leapfrog their third-placed rivals.

“Obviously you don’t want to give up points to your nearest rivals but there are no gimmes in this league. The last time we played, there wasn’t a great deal between the teams and we were 1-0 up when we had eleven men on the park but the game got away from us because Hibs are a very decent team and with an extra man advantage they capitalised. This is a different game. It’s two teams who play the game the right way with good pace and energy. Hopefully there will be plenty of goals and it will be good entertainment for the fans.”

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