Date: 13th April 2007 at 7:56pm
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Jimmy Calderwood will surprisingly have a bit of a wry of a smile on his face this week due to the fact Aberdeen are not involved in the weekends Scottish Cup matches.

A weekend off will give Jimmy time to get some of his players back as today he only managed to get 12 onto the training pitch and he will no doubt be pleased to see more turmoil in Edinburgh as Hibs get their share of the madness bug that is rife in the Capital.

Hibs punted the Dons out in an emphatic 4-1 replay victory and have gone on a great double cup run which has seen them already secure the CIS League Cup and have only bottom club Dunfermline to dispose of to make it two finals in one season.

They have however this week reported a ‘Hearts` style mutiny in the camp and a confusion clouds surrounds John Collins` future. His players are not saying kind words about him and have gone public with their grievances in which they have questioned his management and coaching methods.

An upset Hibs will do no harm to Aberdeen`s chances of winning next week and hopefully they can make the Scottish Cup Final to further take their eyes of the formality of playing their remaining SPL matches which can ultimately count for nothing.

With Jimmy now only concerned about SPL points in the Euro race, he`ll be happy to sit and watch the cup semi-finalists battle it out knowing that next week he should hopefully have some of his key men back for the crucial Hibs SPL match at Pittodrie.

Richie Byrne again joins the injured list having hobbled out of the Celtic reserve match but it`s not yet known the extent of his re-occurring problem.

Jimmy spoke of the Irishman`s latest concern and of his depleted squad. He said,

It’s probably too early to say. It is the same hamstring but thankfully it is not a tear – he just felt something during this week’s reserve match. He was clever enough to stop straight away and we will just have to wait and see what the medical people say. Hopefully he will be going for a scan today and we will get the results shortly.

‘We’ll then take it from there, but obviously he is down at the moment but that is just football. If you count the games he and Jamie Smith have played this season I don’t think it reaches double figures, and they are two very key players for us.

‘Today we only had 12 out of a possible 22 training and that included the goalkeepers. Russell is still off ill, and now Craig Brewster and young David Donald are also ill while Gary Dempsey is still injured and a few of the others have got knocks. It’s probably just as well we don’t have a game this weekend. The players will have a couple of days off and hopefully by the time we report back on Monday some of the guys will be back.’

Is their something wrong with the Aberdeen medical staff? Why are these players returning for a match only to find themselves yet again out for another long period? In recent months the Dons have had this situation with Jamie Smith (often) and now again with Richie Byrne.

With players being such valuable assets, surely they should be required to be back to 100% fitness before becoming available for selection again.

Aberdeen seem to be dicing with players careers, livelihoods and their own future as a club as surely fully fit and well players can contribute more consistently and to a higher standard than with guys who are in for a week but then out for 2 two months.