Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin on expectation, no Rangers fear and belief in Bojan Miovski to score
During that time, it was a frequency only bettered by Celtic. Therefore, having gone two seasons without a return to Hampden Park is somewhat jarring for a club that reached the point where they expected rather than hoped for a jaunt to Mount Florida. For Dons boss Jim Goodwin, however, it is solely an expectation. In the build-up to Sunday's semi-final showdown with Rangers at the national stadium he expressed just that.
“We're not satisfied with just getting to this stage,” Goodwin said. “This is the minimum requirement of a club of this size with the squad we have managed to put together, I think we should be looking at the Scottish Cup and League Cup and getting to Hampden initially to give ourselves a chance of getting to the final. That's what we've managed to do at the first time of asking for this group.”
A frustration which still rankles, as former Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admitted, is the fact the team have just one piece of silverware from four finals to show from that impressive ability to get themselves into the mix. Rangers stand in their way from a possible final with Celtic or a reunion with McInnes and his Kilmarnock side.
"We are not going to fear the opposition on Sunday, that’s the biggest thing," Goodwin continued. “This isn’t a league game where there’s points at stake, it’s a one-off game and we have to try to win it. There are no prizes for putting on a good show and getting beat by the odd goal. We have to go there with belief and I think the group are in a really good place at the moment. We have had a fantastic week’s training and have prepared for it the way we did the last Rangers game.
"We have good experience in the ranks, the likes of Joe Lewis, Jonny Hayes, Graeme Shinnie have all been to finals with Aberdeen. We also have players who have played at a very good level. So the most important message from me to the players is not to be overawed, don’t be overly concerned by the opposition.”
One player Goodwin will look to is North Macedonian striker Bojan Miovski. Having started the season in electric fashion he has not scored in his last six. "All strikers, at some point in the season, go through that little barren spell,” said Goodwin. “Because he was so hot in the early part of the campaign, when you don't score for a few games people start asking questions. The pleasing thing for me is Bojan is still contributing to the team. There are elements to his game we think he can do a little bit better at in terms of his link-up play but he is causing opposition teams problems.
"He could easily have had a hat-trick against St Johnstone. He's had a brilliant week's training. He's been on fire in some of the games we've had so hopefully he will take a bit of confidence from that and get back to the goals on Sunday which would be lovely.”
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