Date: 20th February 2007 at 11:01pm
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Darren Mackie notched his tenth goal of the season right at the end of the 2-1 defeat to Celtic. Mackie managed to get clean through on goal in the last minute with only the ‘keeper to beat and lots of time to do so before passing the ball through Artur Boruc`s legs for the consolation. Hopefully he`ll take confidence from that strike, although it had no significance on the eventual outcome, he`s had similar chances this season against worse SPL goalies which haven`t been taken.

It has, however, been a promising start to the 2007 for the 25 year old striker, his goal against Celtic his second since the turn of the year and he`s forced his way into the national scene with a subs appearance for the Scotland B team. The speedy striker is Jimmy Calderwood`s first choice at the minute as the boss looks to perm his best attack line from the five strikers at his disposal.

Mackie has done well to elevate himself to that status and the boss has the welcome headache of who to play alongside him with guys like Lee Miller, Dyron Daal, Steve Lovell, the emerging Chris Maguire and the soon to return Craig Brewster all vying to partner the leagues fifth top scorer. But even at that, Mackie is reassuringly hungry for more.

‘I’m pleased to be into double figures, although it was disappointing not to pick up anything from the Celtic game,’ said Mackie.

‘My target is to beat my best return of 15 goals and with the games we have left it’s possible.

‘It’s something that is in my thoughts and I’ll be going all out to beat it.

‘I’ll be trying to score as many as I can between now and the end of the campaign.

‘I have been pleased with my performances but there is still a lot I can improve on and I’ll continue to work hard to become a better player.’

With so many strikers of a high standard at Pittodrie Mackie is delighted to be getting a game anywhere, he started on the left flank against Celtic in a tactical switch although he thinks he`s best through the middle.

‘All our forwards have real quality which makes things extremely hard.

‘You have to be playing well regularly to merit a place in the team.

‘It does help to bring the best out in you and you have to be playing at the top of your form to get into the team.

‘The manager knows I can play in the wider areas. I don’t mind playing there although I prefer being in a more central role.’

We started the game quite well but lost two goals that could have been prevented,’ he said.

‘It’s also important to score the first goal against the Old Firm and it was very difficult once we went two down.

‘Celtic showed us a lot of respect for the way we have been playing by fielding a strong side.

‘We will need to bounce back from the defeat when we face Falkirk in our next match.’