Date: 20th March 2007 at 10:21am
Written by:

Jimmy Calderwood is blessing the Scotland match on Saturday that will give his patched up side a chance to get back to full strength. He thought his chronic injury troubles were over for the season but Barry Nicholson`s terrible shoulder injury, Darren Mackie`s groin and flu bout and Andrew Considine along with Chris Clark both took knocks during the Rangers match which leaves him just 16 first team players going into next weeks match at Kilmarnock.

‘The break has come at the right time for us. A couple of weeks ago I was talking about how great it was to have everyone back but we have walking wounded again.

But Jimmy remains upbeat and optimistic that this season will see the Dons return to European competition one way or another despite the dismal Ibrox result and performance.

‘The one positive we could take was the fact Hearts lost at home to Dundee United. As sore as our defeat was the fact they also lost softened the blow a bit.’

‘We are third and still six points clear of Hearts and 11 better off than Hibs and Kilmarnock with seven games to go. I’m told the SPL fixtures for the final five games of the season will be announced on Thursday and we have four games we must win to secure our place in the Uefa Cup next season. The Edinburgh derby is the first game back following the international break and on the same weekend we are at Kilmarnock which will be hugely significant for all four clubs involved.

‘We have two games against Kilmarnock to play, one against Hearts and one against Hibs. If we win those we are there.’

Whilst he looks forward to the personal achievement of leading a club into European competition for the first time, he still reflects back to the Ibrox beating and the missed opportunity that the European competition could be the Champions League.

He said ‘We never gave ourselves a chance. I look at the game and think it was a huge chance missed. We have been so strong defensively but we just didn’t turn up on Saturday.

‘Too many players had off-days. It hurts, especially as I know we are so much better than what we showed at Ibrox. But we can’t dwell on it. We are seven points behind which is a big ask, but we have to keep going.

Lets hope so Jimmy, Rangers have had some great results recently but even their manager expects them to drop points in the run in.