Date: 17th November 2006 at 11:09am
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As Jimmy Calderwood prepares his troops for the visit of St Mirren tomorrow, he has stated that his longstanding friendship with Buddies boss Gus McPherson may hamper his sides chances of claiming second spot as their own.

With Rangers and Hearts set to face each other, a fourth home win in a row will move the Dons into second spot clear if their challengers slip up but face a tough test from a team who are only six points behind them in the league.

Calderwood signed St Mirren manager McPherson for his Dunfermline side and reckons that Gus has an advantage going into this game as he will be aware of the tactics the Dons boss will employ.

Calderwood knows the Paisley side will prove a tough test but he hopes to use the aces up his sleeve and outwit his former player as he picks the brains of coaches Jimmy Nicholl and Sandy Clark.

Calderwood said ‘Gus can read me, which is quite annoying. He knows what kind of things I like to do and is aware of what we’re capable of. It isn’t just a case of outwitting me, though. He has to take on Jimmy Nicholl and Sandy Clark as well.

‘But he has worked with me for long enough to have an idea of what I am going to do. I’m sure he has had reports about us because he hasn’t been in touch with me to find out what we’ve got in mind.’

I was never disappointed by Gus when he joined Dunfermline and he has continued to do well as a manager. I am really happy for him because he works hard and I am not surprised his side has started so well this season.

‘I have always liked Hugh Murray as a player and they have a few other good professionals in their side such as Andy Millen, Kevin McGowne and John Sutton. I also know the likes of Billy Mehmet and John Potter from my time with them at Dunfermline and they are good, honest people.

You know you will get a good day’s work out of them and Gus has got them really well-organised. He has done a brilliant job.

Calderwood then went on to further praise McPherson ‘ and his charges “Everyone knows how difficult it is when a team gets promoted, but St Mirren have had a great start. Even now, in a spell where they aren’t getting great results, they are still playing quite well.

They have got a good spirit in their team and I am sure they will be well clear of relegation by the end of the season.

After their good start, they still have a winning mentality and there are players in their side who know how to get results.

That will make for a hard match. We know they have a very attack-minded approach. They certainly won’t come here to defend.’

By Cole Thomson

Vital Quotes:

Ricky Foster has spoken out about the importance of this weeks visit by St Mirren to the Dons season.

St Mirren is massive this week because we have to make use of all our home games. Rangers are playing Hearts so that gives us a chance to make ground on at least one of them. We’ve got both of those two and Celtic to come before Christmas, so it’s important we keep our momentum going into those. We don’t fear Rangers or Hearts, though we respect them. We think we can get points from them because there’s a big opportunity to break through this year and get in the top three or better.’

Aberdeen Team News:

Calderwood can draw from almost a full squad this week and has said ‘Jamie Smith is just back, Lovell’s just back and we could possibly welcome back Karim this week so we’re still not firing on all cylinders yet; but we’re getting there. Most of the team are signed up for two or three years and they’re getting to that age where they’re at their peak and that is exciting. I think the future is looking quite bright and there is improvement to come. I’ve really enjoyed watching the team over the past few weeks. Our standards are high and the boys know what we expect in training and in games.’

Player to watch: Lee Miller

On fire Lee Miller. The striker never had a great match for Scotland against Ireland but will be hoping that his club form can keep catching Walter Smith’s eye. His two goals for Aberdeen have been crucial to their current league status.

St Mirren Team News:

22 year old John Sutton has boosted his club by hinting that he may want to stay on longer in Paisley as rumours surround transfers back to England. He said: ‘It’s enjoyable settling down and living in the same place for a little while.

‘Also, playing with the same people every week and getting to know each others’ game better helps your game.’

‘We’ve got a bit of youth in the team and hopefully we can mature as a team and get better together,’ he said.

‘People always think the grass is greener on the other side, which is not necessarily the case.

‘It’s silly to look too far ahead because you never know what’s going to happen.

‘But, since I’ve been up here, I have enjoyed coming into training and hopefully improving my game and I don’t see why I would want to change that.’

Player to watch: John Sutton

The inform striker has already scored seven times in the league for the Buddies.

Match Facts & Stats

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