Date: 8th May 2007 at 8:56pm
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Aberdeen are still one win away from the certainty of European football next year but what has already happened this year is enough for Jimmy Calderwood to know that he is on the right track.

One look at the league table should tell every Dons fan how far their team has come in a short period and not only by seeing that the Dons sit lording over teams that have spent much more money in Hearts and Dundee United but also by seeing Dunfermline fighting for their lives at the bottom.

Aberdeen`s manager was of course in charge at East End Park and the transformations in both clubs fortunes has been solely down to the management team of Calderwood and Nicholl swapping clubs, and many of the playing staff it has to be noted, which has saw Aberdeen regularly battle for European places and Dunfermline just happy to survive relegation each season.

Jimmy`s hard work, on and off the training ground, is paying off on match day with his team at least confident that they are able to give the Old Firm doubt at least about the outcome of Aberdeen`s matches against them and now hold no fear about contesting any of the other SPL teams.

It`s been slow but consistent improvement during Jimmy`s tenure at Pittodrie and there is still much work to be done before anything like the glorious achievements of the 80`s can be thought about but Jimmy can see life being breathed back into the city as interest grows about their European bid for this season and the Aberdeen FC resurgence.

‘A lot of people, my wife included, watched the game in pubs in Aberdeen and from what I hear there was bedlam when we equalised. It’s great to know supporters want this as much as we do at the club.’

The fans of a club are as important as a top player and the Dons fans revel in calling themselves the twelfth man and for these last two matches against the Old Firm, I don`t think they`ll have much trouble proving it.

That aspect will excite Jimmy as much as a good performance on the pitch. He desperately wants the Dons to have the backing of a full, on song, Pittodrie in every match and he hopes they appreciated the performance his boys gave them at Tynecastle on Sunday.

‘The players showed how much finishing third means to them with a display of character. A lot of players grew up on Sunday and certainly as a team we matured. Now we have to show the same maturity to get across the line in the last two games.

‘It was easily one of the best performances of the season. We outplayed Hearts completely in the first half, both tactically and in terms of quality.

‘We started the game with two young centre backs and 11 Scots on the field. I took one look at the Hearts bench and saw Robbie Neilson, Julien Brellier, Neil McCann and Michal Pospisil. We had Dan Smith and David Donald. It was frightening.

‘Yet, we outplayed them and I couldn’t believe we were losing 1-0 at half-time. We played too many long balls for my liking in the second half but, on the whole, we set our stall out from the first minute and pushed Hearts back into their own half.

‘The goal we lost was so sloppy but all credit to the players for the way they responded. Scott Severin was immense at the back and Jamie Smith did really well when he moved to central midfield.’

Jimmy`s plans are coming together and now he needs the city and people of Aberdeen to show how much their club means to them by turning out in numbers and willing their team onto qualification for Europe next season.

What do you think? Has Jimmy done a good job during his time at Pittodrie and will European qualification be the start of bigger things for the club?

Will you be at the final two games or have you given up on the team?

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