Sam Cosgrove enjoying goal glut as he aims to fire Aberdeen into title mix

When you’re hot, you’re hot and few Premiership strikers are currently burning with the same intensity as Aberdeen’s Sam Cosgrove, as his opening goal at Hamilton on Wednesday underlined.

Aberdeen's Sam Cosgrove, centre, celebrates his opener against Hamilton. Picture: Roddy Scott/SNS

He misheaded a Stevie May cross from six yards and, when the ball broke back to him off an unfortunate defender, he scuffed his shot but watched as it wrong-footed Accies goalkeeper Ryan Fulton. Earlier in the season, the 22-year-old would almost certainly not have scored.

However, form and confidence allied to good luck is a potent cocktail; and there was nothing fortunate about his finish for the Dons’ second in a 3-0 victory that took his tally to 11 goals in his last 12 league games, a total which leaves him just one behind Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos in the scoring charts.

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“It ended up a reaction finish after a bit of a scrappy header,” he said about his first of the evening. “The goal wasn’t textbook but it’s another one on the record. It fell nicely for me after I made a hash of it but I was just happy to get it.

“Sometimes, when things aren’t going your way, you feel unlucky but your luck can change and it’s nice things are going my way right now.” More to the point, his recent run has fired Derek McInnes’ side back into title contention after an indifferent start to the campaign and, if they can defeat Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on Saturday, they will move into second place. Cosgrove is convinced there is much more to come from his team.

“It wasn’t a perfect performance at Hamilton; it was a perfect result though, getting the three goals and a clean sheet,” he said.

“There’s still plenty of improvement to be seen all over the pitch. It’s testament to the team, really that we can go to places like Hamilton and take the points so confidently without being ten out of ten.

“It’s a good sign. We’ve shown flashes throughout the season. December was a great month for us and it really shot us up the table. It was a glimpse of what’s to come. If we can keep it going it could be an exciting time for us.

“We can go second on Saturday after a few scores went our way on Wednesday.

“It just needs calm heads at times and not panicking when you’re in front of the headlights. We’re well set up; we’ve definitely got a chance.

“We want to be in the mix come the split. We are in a good position and, hopefully, in ten games time we’ll be in the running at the top of the table.”

McInnes, meanwhile, claims it is too early to talk about a title challenge, even though he has guided the club to second place behind Celtic in each of the four previous seasons.

He also stressed how difficult it will be to overcome 
Steve Clarke’s in-form Kilmarnock. “We need to have a focus for every game; we chalked another one off on Wednesday and we are pleased with where we are,” said McInnes.

“But we need to deal with a good side in Kilmarnock. The biggest compliment I can pay them is that when I came in after the game on Wednesday and heard they’d beaten Rangers I wasn’t surprised.

“Any team can be good for a couple of months here and there, or five or six games in a row but to do it for as long as Kilmarnock have is testament to the job Stevie’s done there.” The short-term aim for us is to get above them.”