Date: 1st February 2007 at 2:17am
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Jimmy Calderwood has stuck by the squad that has so far done very well in the SPL as the transfer window has came and gone with no Aberdeen activity, either in or out.

Calderwood is certainly always looking and there is no doubt he has a dream list but the budget restraints are the commanding factor here even if Calderwood’s targets are modestly realistic.

A few hundred thousand to prise Alan Gow away from Falkirk could not be met but credit must be given to Jimmy that he did not go for a lesser player just to freshen the squad and give himself a new toy. He’ll wait till the summer to see if Gow wants to play for him and it’s that demand of high standard that might just perhaps persuade Gow in the end.

In the modern climate, with agents hawking players around constantly and with Jimmy’s European contacts, there is little doubt he’ll have been offered a few players to look at. Whether any of these haven’t turned up at Pittodrie is due to financial considerations or lack of ability is obviously unknown but what we can see is that Jimmy has rewarded his existing players who were nearing the end of their contracts new deals and the fact they all signed so easily can’t be overlooked.

Jamie Smith, Andrew Considine, Gary Dempsey and Darren Mackie all pledged their foreseeable futures to the Dons recently. Each of them are highly regarded players who many clubs would relish employing but there was never any question or public outpouring that they wanted to leave. They signed their contracts gratefully when they were presented to them.

Jimmy has created not only a winning spirit but a team spirit which is so clearly seen by the last minute goals they’ve scored on the pitch, showing a great commitment to the cause.

When we consider our SPL rivals in the Euro race, Rangers, as usual, were linked with half of Europe but have eventually brought in four new faces but tried for more. Hearts have sold their highest regarded outfield player, significantly after he spoke out against the club, to the team they were scheduled by their Chairman to be succeeding as Champions. They in return have unsurprisingly signed four unknown players to add to their already jumbled squad. Hibernian have again sold their captain to Rangers and expect their international player Scott Brown to be leaving during the summer.

Had Jimmy Calderwood a big pot of cash then it’s hard to imagine that new players would not have arrived during the window. As that is not the case, Jimmy has concentrated on signing again players he trusts and believes in, Craig Brewster being part of that statement. More importantly, these players signed again for Jimmy and want to play for Aberdeen. They share Jimmy’s ambition and belief, they fight for each other and have a drive now to win and a confidence that they can.

So whilst it is always exciting for supporters to have a new guy with new skills to look forward to watching, change and upheaval are not always the best option. Aberdeen won’t have to bed anyone in or mourn a missing colleague, they can just continue as normal without any distractions. Often signings are unavoidable and a necessity but sometimes it’s panic or indulgence that prompts a transfer and those are not the best emotions to judge a player on or to try and blend a team.

Jimmy knows his players are not the best in the world but they play for each other, they know each others game and he obviously believes in them. A team plays better the more they play together and traditionally a quality squad that has been together longer generally tends to be more successful than one which changes personnel frequently.

Whether his reluctance to add to the squad is correct we can only know when the final ball is kicked. Hopefully the players can repay the managers unwavering loyalty in them by winning and moving onto success as a galvanized team and proving him correct long term.