Motherwell v Aberdeen: Barry Robson aims to please

Barry Robson: Keen to please. Picture: SNS
Barry Robson: Keen to please. Picture: SNS
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Aberdeen midfielder Barry Robson will concentrate on meeting the specific demands of his manager after the club moved into second place in the Scottish Premiership ahead of their League Cup clash at Motherwell.

Many Pittodrie regulars will not be content until their team wins their first trophy since 1995 but Robson is putting any external demands out of his head and focusing on satisfying the requirements of Derek McInnes.

The former Celtic player said: “The manager has the mentality, not of winning every week, but being at our best every week, especially work-rate and organisation-wise.

“He doesn’t expect you to be terrific every week but he demands you to be working hard for your team-mates and giving everything you’ve got, and I think you can see that in all the players. It makes an awful big difference.

“Yes, there’s an expectation level here at Aberdeen. There’s been a lot of good players and managers here over the years. The fans expect us to do well and we’re doing that at the minute but there’s a long way to go. Everyone knows how hard it is to go to Motherwell and get a win so the feet are on the ground. We came in after the game on Saturday when the boys played terrifically well and the manager says we should enjoy it for the next 20 minutes and move on, because if you want to be a top player at a top club and win things, that’s what needs to happen.”

Manager Stuart McCall joked about Motherwell’s domestic penalty drought ahead of tonight’s cup tie, but there was no mistaking his frustration.

His team have only had one spot-kick this season, which Bob McHugh missed against Russia’s Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League qualifiers.

McCall and others at Fir Park believe they have been denied four or five good penalty claims in the Scottish Premiership.

McCall said: “Tomorrow’s game can go to 120 minutes and possibly it can go to penalties. But I am still waiting for a ruling from the SPFL because we don’t get penalties as you know and we might just go to a toss a coin.

“But because it is cup game, rules might change and so we practised penalties. We have had one penalty kick this season – in Russia. They play the rules that if it hits your hand it is a penalty but unfortunately Bob missed it.

“But we have been practising them this morning and it might have made my mind up on who is on the bench because a few slotted them away nicely and a few blazed them over the bar.

“It is a bit tongue in cheek. Refereeing is a tough job, there is no doubt about that.

“But there has certainly been times this season when we merited penalty-kicks and didn’t get them.”