Date: 24th April 2007 at 1:20pm
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As the Euro race gets into melting point, Jimmy Calderwood has urged his troops to hold their nerve, stay united and keep their noses ahead of Hearts in the title race.

With four points currently between the teams, Aberdeen face Kilmarnock at home whilst Hearts will be the first to play Celtic as the re-crowned champions of Scotland this Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Much can be decided this weekend, although nothing concrete, but a home win for Aberdeen is a must as they then will face Hearts and Celtic away before the Pittodrie clash with Rangers and no points can be guaranteed from those but Jimmy sees better teams than his stumbling to the end of season goals. He takes a slight comfort as he sees giants of European football falter at the final hurdles but he knows there can be no excuses if the Dons again miss out on Europe.

Jimmy is distraught that his sides` normally watertight defence has burst the banks in the last few games and is leaking shocking, un-worked for goals but has observed that,’It is happening to teams everywhere as they near the finishing line. Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United all struggled at the weekend, while Celtic, who have been poor for the last four games, finally made it to the prize.

‘Doubts can come in if you let them but we have enough cause for optimism. We are still in pole position and the games are running out. I still think we need two victories from the four games left to be sure.

‘Nine out of 10 times teams come here thinking a draw is a good result but we are gifting goals and making it easy for them.

‘It is a matter of getting back to basics, being tough to beat and showing a little bit more quality.

‘If we can defend better we can give ourselves the chance to win games.’

Jimmy has earmarked the Killie clash as the one that his side must get three points from as he knows harder games are to follow.

Aberdeen are fourteen points ahead of their Ayrshire rivals and although a 2-1 victory was recorded at Rugby Park recently, there were not many people who could honestly say that the Dons deserved that win.

Jimmy has again called for the fans to rally after another surprisingly low Pittodrie gate of just under ten thousand which wasn`t helped by the reluctance of many Hibs fans to travel. With their pockets being emptied from two Scottish Cup matches sandwiching Saturday`s SPL match that was fully understandable and those who did, made their voices count.

Jimmy would love for his home support to do the same, ‘This weekend’s game against Killie is another highly significant one for the club so we need the fans right behind us.

‘I understood their frustration after we went behind against Hibs and if there is a hard way to do something we always seem to find it.

‘However, Hearts’ defeat at Ibrox means we are still in pole position and we will clinch the European place if everyone sticks together.’

Jimmy knows what`s needed, a return to basics, stop losing bad goals, stay together, stay composed and the boys upfront will do the business to get that coveted European place.

‘It’s all about bottle and holding your nerve at this late stage of the season”, Jimmy said.

‘It would be a tragedy if we threw away all the hard work we’ve put in these last three years when we’re so close to the reward.

‘It’s time to stop the rot and get back to the standards that took us to third spot.

‘The challenge we face is a straightforward one – make it as hard as possible for Hearts and don’t gift-wrap third place when it is almost within our grasp.

‘The gap is still four points and our goal difference is better but the infuriating thing is that our European place should have been secured by now.

‘We need two more wins and it would be great if we could get those by repeating the flair we’ve shown earlier in the season.

‘We have enough quality to see this through and I’m confident we’ll get there. But we are making it a lot harder than it needs to be.’

he backing of a strong crowd would go along way and Jimmy`s team would no doubt be inspired by a vocal, partisan Pittodrie to give them that final push over the finishing line.

Get along to Pittodrie on Saturday and support your team as they strive for Europe for the first time in five years. Tickets start from as little as £16 so no excuses.