Aberdeen striker Florian Kamberi won't be offering Neil Lennon sympathy before reunion with his former Hibs manager
In an Instagram post, he wrote it was time for a “a new challenge in my homeland” as he left behind – or thought he had – an eventful sojourn in Scottish football, where, among other things, he was reported to have been partly responsible for Neil Lennon’s mysterious departure from Hibs two years ago.
They will be reacquainted on Wednesday when Aberdeen head to Celtic Park. While there won’t be any fans in the stadium, the visitors will still be conscious of an old terracing plea: “All we are saying is, give us a goal”.
Aberdeen are seeking to avoid a club record sixth consecutive game without a goal. The pressure is on Kamberi, who has not scored since a spectacular strike for Rangers against St Johnstone just short of a year ago, to start delivering.
Manager Derek McInnes said as much following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with St Mirren. Kamberi seems confident he can produce what’s required – goals, largely, although he stressed this is not all he offers – between now and the end of the season. Despite failing to score, he was simply happy to have got his first 90 minutes for a long time under his belt. The way McInnes put it afterwards, this was Kamberi’s one opportunity to get up to speed.
“I know where the goals are,” said the seemingly unfazed striker. “I know that I can score goals. But I am not going to sit here and say I will score 20 goals or something. If the team wins and I do not score but we win then that’s the most important thing.”
He admitted his first months at St Gallen were “not great” after quickly falling out of favour. “I went there to play football,” he said. Kamberi torpedoed his own chances of resuming his career at Hibs following a few months on loan at Rangers. After joining the Ibrox side he admitted he had harboured a desire to play in front of the Ibrox fans for as long as he had been in Scotland.
Aberdeen fans will not find such sentiments particularly palatable either. Nevertheless, if he can score goals at this crucial stage of the season, all will be forgiven.
Lennon’s own problems have receded somewhat after a fourth successive win yesterday. Kamberi was not keen to get involved in his old manager’s recent travails. He observed that failing to win matches at a club like Celtic will always result in some discomfort.
“That’s usual, if you do not get the results or wins everyone gets on you and you have pressure and stuff but to be honest that’s not my business,” he said. “I will leave that with him and Celtic to sort out.
“I have not followed Celtic very much this season. I saw that they are maybe not like they were last season, but that can happen in football. They would love to be in another situation, but it is how it is. I will focus on myself and on Aberdeen and not on anybody else.”
A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription - https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.