Aberdeen V Dundee at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

14 February 2013 06:31
Aberdeen V Dundee - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Brown eyeing runners-up finish

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown believes they can still claim the coveted runners-up spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this season despite a poor start to the year.

The Dons currently sit in eighth position in the table but are just five points behind second-placed Inverness.

And Brown sees no reason why his side cannot bridge the gap if they can put together a decent run starting with the home clash with Dundee.

He said: "We want success and to finish as high in the SPL as possible. Second place is a target. I am optimistic, always.

"Second place is five points ahead of us so we need a couple of wins to get in touch and I think we've got the capability within the squad to get the wins."

Aberdeen have failed to pick up a single win in 2013 but Brown insists it is too early to judge the success of their campaign.

He said: "I'll look at the table at the end of the season, that is when the table counts.

"You look at the fixtures and think there are points to be gained. I think every manager will be saying the same, it's just who gets the points.

"Well see at the end where we finish."

Dundee travel to the Granite City 15 points adrift at the bottom of the SPL but Brown is taking nothing for granted.

He said: "Every game with Dundee is a close game.

"Just because they are at the bottom and detached a bit, I dont think for one minute that it will be an easy game.

"In fact, it makes them more dangerous."

Gary Naysmith and Ryan Jack will both be added to the Aberdeen squad.

Naysmith (hamstring and calf) and Jack (broken foot) are in contention after recovering from their respective injuries.

Brown has no fresh injury worries but will be without the suspended Mark Reynolds.

Dundee manager Barry Smith has two unnamed doubts.

Striker Steven Milne is battling to overcome a rib injury while long-term injured players Stephen O'Donnell (knee), Mark Kerr (knee), Davide Grassi (knee), Jamie McCluskey (Achilles) and Carl Finnigan (knee) are still out.

Brian Easton aims to show Dundee have the fight to stay in the league if the clash turns into a "battle" on a poor Pittodrie pitch.

The Dons' pitch has cut up badly in recent months and this week's rain and snow will ensure the surface is still not conducive to good football.

Dundee have tried to play their way out of trouble but fell 15 points adrift last weekend after losing 2-0 at home to Ross County.

And Easton hopes the heavy Pittodrie park works in their favour as their relegation battle becomes critical.

"I've seen it a couple of times and we have spoken a bit about it during the week," the left-back said.

"It's not a pitch to be playing attractive football but it's a game where we are going to have to go in, regardless of how the pitch is, ready to fight for our lives.

"It might work out to our advantage. It is going to turn into a battle and it's really about who wants it more.

"We really need to want it more."

Source: PA