Jackie McNamara has echoed Scott Severin`s optimism that Aberdeen must go on and win something this coming season if they are to be taken seriously as a force in Scottish football again and he reckons they are well capable of doing so.
Jackie has previously won 11 domestic honours during his time at Celtic and has completed the list of all there is to win in Scotland but he has said to the Daily Record that he wouldn`t have moved back north to Aberdeen if he didn`t think he`d be adding to his already heaving collection of medals.
With Celtic and Rangers both trying, but with varying results, to freshen and strengthen their squads, Jackie knows trophies won`t fall on his lap and it will again be the Glasgow clubs that will have to be beaten if he is to help finally bring a trophy back to Pittodrie.
Jackie said in as open an interview as he`s given since returning to Scotland, ‘It’s very difficult to win trophies when you’re competing against the Old Firm given the financial gap.
The good thing for the likes of Aberdeen is that the gap has closed a little bit when it comes to the money in the Scottish game recently.
When people say no games are easy when you’re an Old Firm side, I know that’s true. That’s why it’s encouraging to see Hearts split the Old Firm and then Aberdeen give Rangers a good run for their money for second place last season.
Obviously it’s a massive challenge but we have to aim to be winners as that’s the measure of success.’
Whilst it`s true that the Old Firm will have the edge financially, Jackie still reckons he and his new team mates can compete on the pitch now that he has seen the quality of the Dons squad, ‘I was confident about that before I came here but seeing the squad in training over the last few days I realise what a good, fit bunch of players we have at the club.
I would prefer to split the Old Firm and win a cup but if you ask any Aberdeen fan if the priority is winning something I think the answer would be yes.
It’s been quite a while since they had a trophy to celebrate and what the club wants is a good day out for the fans with some silverware to show at the end of it.
I personally would like to win something first and then see where the league form takes us. My ambition is still to be successful and win things.
It would mean a lot to the team but it still means as much as ever to me to win trophies.
There is always pressure to perform and do well. I lived with that for 10 years every week at Celtic. It’s what you need to make yourself better as a professional.
McNamara knows that he won`t have many years left in the game, especially after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury whilst at Wolves, and he wants to make those he does have remaining count, starting now.
The 33 year old defender said of his Aberdeen ambitions, ‘You play this game to pick up trophies, whether it’s the league, the Scottish Cup or the League Cup, and you can only do your best and see where that takes you.
The expectation levels will be high at Aberdeen after finishing third last season so hopefully we can build on that.
The fans will expect us to finish third or better now and it’s up to us to go out and maintain the standards that were set by getting into Europe.
Jackie has been the highest profile signing at the club in well over a decade and whilst he has lost none of his appetite for the game, he does just wonder how long his body will let him play but he went on to give Aberdeen fans hope that he might be sticking around for a while yet.
He said, ‘Pre-season training doesn’t get any easier. After the first few days my head is telling me this will be my last club.
But ask me again at the end of the season and you will get a different answer. I just want to get out there playing and see where it takes me.’
Enthusiasm and ambition can be a superb combination and right now, Pittodrie could sell barrel loads of that particular cocktail.
Do you think Jackie, Scott and the rest of the squad are good enough to bring home some silverware this season?
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