Date: 2nd April 2007 at 9:33pm
Written by:

Richie Byrne was delighted to get his first ninety minutes under his belt in months but knows that he was lucky to stay the full distance.

Having typically been booked early in the match he looked to be heading for an early days work when he counter reacted Momo Sylla`s neck lock and slammed him to the ground.

Byrne knows he was perhaps lucky to stay on as many softer incidents have been punished with cards and the current climate would suggest that a second booking was in order but Byrne escaped and gave his view on the incident.

‘We had a bit of a tussle when I was trying to get by him but the fourth official saw him fouling me and that is why we got the free kick.

‘I had already been booked and I did worry the referee would show me another yellow.

‘You never know how somebody else sees a situation but luckily for me the fourth official saw the incident from the start.

‘It was a hard game but the lads fought hard to take the three points.’

Byrne was back in the Dons side courtesy of the Dons fullbacks poor disciplinary record which saw them banned for the Killie match but Byrne slotted in well and had a good old fashioned battle with Sylla and didn`t allow Steven Naismith too much room either.

Richie is now looking to start his season in earnest after recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept him out the team for six months and has set his sights on catching Rangers after their surprising draw at home to Caley.

‘It would be great if we could catch Rangers but they are not a side which drops too many points. We have a little bit of hope and it would be nice if we could get to the last game of the season when they come to our place and have something to play for.

‘We just have to make sure we win as many games as we can and try to get closer to them.

‘It was a surprise to see both halves of the Old Firm drop points against 10 men as it is not something which happens often, but we are just glad to have got the three points we need to stay up there.’





Very glad indeed Richie but it may not have happened had you been awarded that second yellow.

Aberdeen must start looking after themselves in the disciplinary stakes in this crucial period as stupid yellows will accumulate and cost us dearly.

Whilst Richie’s full-hearted performances combined with the bit of steel he adds are very welcome, he could end up being a liability.

In every game Byrne plays I’m always wondering if he will last the distance as he lunges into tackles and puts himself about quite a bit too wrecklessly.

He might not always get cautioned but free kicks around the goal area are always dangerous and Byrne is guilty of conceding too many needless ones.

Calderwood has been well served by his full backs this season and hopefully he will realise that whilst they lack some of Byrne’s presence, they are much less of a liability.

Jimmy however only has praise for Byrne but does acknoledge the Irishman’s limitaions.

Jimmy said”It’s great to have Richie back. Although people knock him for his distribution, he comes into his own in the tough games.

“He made two magnificent last gasp blocks in the closing stages and that really sums him up as a player.

“It’s a real boost just to see him back playing again as Richie kept breaking down in training and there was a genuine worry he’d be out until next season.”