Jim Goodwin lauds Duk after match-winning Aberdeen display as Dons continue to blank out 'noise'

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hailed the performance of his matchwinner Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes after the Cape Verdian scored twice to give the Dons a much-needed 2-0 cinch Premiership win over St Johnstone at Pittodrie.

The 22-year-old netted on 74 and 84 minutes as Aberdeen managed to break down a rugged St Johnstone rearguard and record their first win in six matches. The result leaves them handily-placed in fourth in the table, three points behind third-placed Hearts, ahead of their Viaplay Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden next weekend.

"I was really pleased for Duk to get back on the scoresheet,” said Goodwin. “He’s a really good young player who hadn’t played a lot of senior football before coming to us. He has huge potential and has developed quicker than anticipated. But we’re not getting carried away and putting pressure on his shoulders. When you have a striker like Bojan Miovksi going through a barren spell, it’s good to have someone take on the mantle and be the matchwinner. I thought he was excellent.”

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On the match itself, Goodwin was left in no doubt that Aberdeen merited the win. “We deserved the three points,” continued Goodwin. “I thought we were excellent in the first half and St Johnstone didn’t cause us too many problems. We were unfortunate with a few decisions which went against us and it looked like it could have been a carbon copy of last Monday against Ross County [a 0-0 draw]. The second half became very scrappy, St Johnstone made it that way – we were aggressive and stood up to that."

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hugs Luis 'Duk' Lopes after scoring twice against St Johnstone.Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hugs Luis 'Duk' Lopes after scoring twice against St Johnstone.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin hugs Luis 'Duk' Lopes after scoring twice against St Johnstone.

While there has been some criticism for Goodwin and his players in the midst of a poor run of form – which incorporates two defeats to Celtic and Rangers – the manager reiterated that the “noise” had been blanked out and that nobody has been panicking. “There has been a lot of noise outside the club but we have not let it affect us,” added Goodwin. “We have not picked up enough points since the World Cup. I could go through things which have gone against us. We were terrible against Killie and put our hands up, but we can’t can’t look back. From my point of view and the point of view from the players, there was no sign of panic or negativity. Block out what’s being said, believe in what we’re doing and the strategy.”

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson lamented his team’s inability to deal with the long ball that led to Aberdeen’s opener. “I thought we set up really well, I thought we were organised and I thought we were hard to play against,” said Davidson. “As the second half went on, we got better. We got more possession. We got further up the pitch, we got more chances. At the point that goal was scored, I thought we were getting control of the game and that's probably the frustrating thing. Their fans were getting frustrated and then one long ball and they are 1-0 up. It's pretty hard for me to take as a defender. As a group, we have to deal with it better. We got a warning in the first half, we didn't deal with it well enough, and the second half we didn't deal with it. That's the reason we lost the game. Everything else was pretty good for an away performance.”