A must win game for the Dons if second place is to be a realistic target. With Rangers playing very badly but still conjuring unlikely wins, Aberdeen must take full points at Fir Park to cut Rangers’ lead to just 4.
Jimmy Calderwood:- ‘It is up to us to keep the pressure on Rangers,’
‘If we can win at Motherwell it will certainly make Saturday’s game at Ibrox more interesting.
‘If the worst comes to the worst and we have to settle for third place then it is important we maintain a gap between ourselves and the teams below us.
‘But Motherwell is always a difficult place to go for every team.’
‘The prize for a win tonight is massive.
‘Extending our lead to six points at this stage of the season would give all of us a great lift and make us almost impossible to catch.
‘I know we once pulled back 11 points on Hibs in the space of five games.
‘But Hearts have lost a key player (Laryea Kingston) through suspension and that won’t help them in the run-in.
‘Motherwell will make it very tough because they need to win as well to make the top six.
‘But we have worked very hard to get to this stage and I can tell that the players are determined to see the job through.’
Craig Brewster:- ‘Motherwell is the most important game of the season so far and we must win.
‘The games just keep getting bigger and bigger because there is so much at stake for the club now.
‘We need three points to keep the pressure on Rangers.
‘Aberdeen have become a very solid team who are very difficult to beat and we need to show that at Motherwell.
‘If we can keep it solid like we did against Hearts we are always in with a chance of scoring.
‘Motherwell will be a tough game but we have built up some momentum now and will approach the match with confidence.
‘A self belief has came into the side because we realise we are a strong unit.
‘But we will have to win every individual battle on the park to ensure we get the three points tonight. All the focus must be on Motherwell, the Rangers game will take care of itself.
‘I said when I first came to Aberdeen I was here to put pressure on the rest of the strikers to perform, that is still the case.’
Scott Severin:- ‘We all have ambitions to play in Europe – as far as I’m concerned, that is the level this club should be at.
‘It has not happened for us in the past few seasons, when we’ve gone through bad spells at different points, but this season we have been successful in the league and far more consistent.
‘We are going into every game thinking we can get a result, even when we’re not playing well.’
‘The Old Firm result was disappointing, but you have to give Rangers credit for getting the victory and stretching their lead on us to seven points.
‘Hopefully, we can get a win at Motherwell to claw some of that back. Our next three games are away to Motherwell, Rangers and Kilmarnock. They are three difficult games, but defensively we are sound and it is a case of creating chances to win games.
‘The target we set at the start of the season was to improve on the last two years and we are on course to do it. Winning a Champions League place is perhaps a bit hopeful, but it is still in our own hands. We still have to play Rangers twice.’
Maurice Malpas:- We have got to be realistic – the top six is beyond us now, but it’s the case that if we can’t get there we have to try to finish seventh.
‘There is one point between four teams but we have a game in hand and it’s important we get something from the game.’
Motherwell FC Team News:
Motherwell are struggling with injuries for tonight’s game. Darren Smith, Stephen Craigan, Danny Murphy and Brian Kerr are doubtful for the visit of the Dons.
Phil O’Donnell, Brian McLean and Keith Lasley are all injured, while Paul Quinn misses out through suspension.
Player to watch: Scott McDonald
The pacey Aussie has been the scourge of so many teams and is a transfer target for many for summer and next season. He can do some very unorthodox things with the ball and often these spectacular attempts end up in the net.
Aberdeen FC Team News:
Barry Nicholson will miss this match after Laryea Kingston’s wrecklessly high challenge forced the midfielder off against Hearts but they will recall Darren Mackie who has recovered from tonsillitis an a hip injury.
Player to watch: Steve Lovell
Lovell should again team up with Brewster after their great showing against Hearts and Lovell will have to do much of the ex Dundee United managers running. Lovell scored a great goal to sink Hearts and has been on a consistent scoring run recently.
Match Facts & Stats
Dougie McDonald will be the man in charge of proceedings. The Transport PlanningConsultancy Director took up refereeing after a serious knee injury prevented him from playing and he wanted to stay involved.
When asked which laws of the game he would change, Dougie said ‘I would change the offside Law to state that players who receive the ball directly when in an offside position are penalised whereas those receiving it indirectly (i.e. from a second phase of play) are not. That’s the way the Law is applied at present but the word ‘directly’ would help the pundits understand how the Law is designed to work’.
Aberdeen travel to Ibrox on Saturday for a gigantic Euro playoff. All tickets for the Aberdeen end have now sold out.