A crucial match in Aberdeen’s bid for a Champions League place but Falkirk have their own ambitions as they try to secure a top six position.
Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘We have beaten Falkirk in the last few games but they are a good passing side and will cause us problems if we allow them. They like to play football and move the ball around but we just have to look at ourselves and make sure we play at our best. We are hoping for an open game and to get the three points.
‘We have a big month coming up but we have given ourselves a good platform and need to focus on getting as many points on the board as possible over the next few games. Having the three players come back allows us to field a strong team plus a strong bench which is important if we need to change things up late in a match.’
John Hughes:- ‘I don’t think I’ve got the characters to get us where we want to go but I’ll be looking to do that next year and make sure I bring in the right sorts.’
I’ve just sat back for the last two or three weeks because they need to get on and create their own spirit and decide who is going to be their leader on the pitch,’ added Hughes.
It’s about seeing who wants to go and train properly and who still has the desire to take the club where it wants to go.
I’m standing back asking who is going to come to the fore and be my leaders, who is a warrior and passes the test of character every day?
I think if I get 11 of them we’ll be all right.
It might not be this year but the top six is what we’re driving for.’
Falkirk FC Team News:
Bairns captain Jack Ross, midfielder Stephen O’Donnell and defender Kenny Milne have not signed new deals that were put to them and have allowed the allocated time to do so pass, displeasing their manager John Hughes. He said, ‘We put a contract offer on the table at the beginning of January and none of them came back,’
They let the time limit elapse and I think that’s a little bit disrespectful to the club.’
‘If they go and get something better somewhere else I’ll be the first to shake their hand and say ‘well done’,’ said Hughes.
‘They are totally entitled to do what they’re doing and seeing what there is elsewhere.
‘I totally understand that. But I am also totally entitled to do what I’m doing for the best of Falkirk football club.’
Falkirk will be without suspended midfielder Patrick Cregg and defender Tam Scobbie for the match and will be hoping that ex-Newcastle striker Carl Finnigan can emulate Stokes’ record in front of goal.
Falkirk squad: Schmeichel, Holden, Twaddle, Milne, Dodd, Barr, Thomson, O’Donnell, Craig, Latapy, Moutinho, Finnigan, Gow, Ross, Uras, Lambers, Lima, Stewart.
Player to watch: Alan Gow
Falkirk have suffered since on-loan sensation Anthony Stokes signed for Sunderland but they still have the talented Alan Gow, a transfer target for Calderwood, who will be keen to help his new team Rangers by helping put the Dons out of the Euro race.
Aberdeen FC Team News:
Jimmy has as strong a squad as he ever has had going into this match and nothing less than three points will do.
Zander Diamond, Craig Brewster and Jamie Smith have all returned to give the manager a happy selection problem.
Aberdeen squad: Langfield, Anderson, Diamond, Considine, Lovell, Foster, Nicholson, Maguire, Severin, Clark, Miller, Mackie, Hart, Dempsey, Touzani, Soutar, J Smith, Brewster, D Smith, Winter, Daal.
Player to watch: Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith is just returning from injury but is massive for the Dons as he can get by players and put balls into the box. He gives Aberdeen width, invention and he’s also dangerous when shooting from outside the box.
Match Facts & Stats
Aberdeen have won both encounters with Falkirk this season. Gary Dempsey and Dyron Daal scored the goals in the 2-0 victory at Falkirk in September. In December’s match, Darren Mackie and Chris Clark put Aberdeen 2-0 up at half time before a superb Alan Gow strike brought the Bairns back into it but it ended 2-1.
Iain Brines:- The 39 year old police officer will officiate the match.
When asked ‘what law of the game would you change?
Brines replied ‘Where a player is fouled and requires treatment, I would have the offending player leave the field of play until his opponent returns after treatment or is substituted’.
Aberdeen V Hearts:
aturday 10th of March 3pm Kick Off