Aberdeen V Hearts at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

29 March 2013 06:31
Aberdeen V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Vernon wants a win for all involved

Scott Vernon aims to impress new manager Derek McInnes while sending outgoing boss Craig Brown off on a high as Aberdeen bid to keep their top-six hopes alive against Hearts.

The Aberdeen players have yet to be introduced to McInnes, who was appointed on Monday to take over from Brown a fortnight later.

Brown and assistant Archie Knox are determined to lead Aberdeen into the top half of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League before stepping down and they need a victory to have any chance of getting there before their final match against Dundee United.

McInnes will be watching from the Pittodrie stand when Hearts visit and Vernon believes that can only help supplement the preparation of their current management team.

The striker said: "We just get on with it, we've had the same gaffer in training and the same gaffer in next few games.

"We know the new man will be in the stand watching the games. It's quite a unique situation. But it's a good opportunity to impress him as well.

"Every club I've been at I've had new managers and it has always got the same reaction - lads are eager to impress. It's just a natural reaction. The extra pair of eyes will definitely do no harm.

"We'll get to meet him after the Dundee United game and get to know him more, which will be important for the squad.

"But right now the squad are being professional and getting on with the job.

"It has felt pretty normal. The day it was announced was a little bit of a shake-up. We weren't sure if we were meeting him (McInnes) or if he was taking over.

"The situation got clarified and it was back down to business. When we meet him, we meet him."

Brown had announced he was stepping down at the end of the season after a goalless draw with Motherwell left them struggling to make the top six.

A 4-3 defeat at Celtic Park followed but other results went their way to leave them with a chance - and Vernon believes it is only right that Brown is the man with the opportunity.

"It's a sign of respect for the gaffer we have got at the moment," he said.

"He's a good man and everyone at the club knows that. He wants to carry out the job he set out to do. Hopefully we can send him off on a high.

"I think everyone can agree, Craig and Archie have been brilliant for the club. They are two good guys that we want to do well for.

"We have been trying to do really well for them but unfortunately the results have not proven that. But there never has been a lack of effort from any of the players.

"We want to get the win and take it to the last game. If we can do that it will be an exciting end to the pre-split fixtures."

Aberdeen hope to have Ryan Jack and Clark Robertson fit. Jack has resumed training after picking up an injury with Scotland Under-21s while Robertson is pushing for a return after an ankle injury.

Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald believes the Aberdeen players will be energised by manager-in-waiting McInnes's presence in the stand.

MacDonald, 26, expects the Dons players to be fired up further, knowing that McInnes is watching.

"After Craig Brown announced that he was going to step down, why not get a new manager in and let him get his ideas across and build for next year," he said.

"I'm sure the new manager will bring in his new ways so it is probably good for the club overall, instead of waiting for the summer, it will give them a head start for next season.

"The players will be thinking of the new manager coming in and will be wanting to impress him.

"It is pretty much a clean slate for everybody so it will obviously be a bit of a lift for the players."

Jamie Hamill returns to the Hearts squad for the first time in almost a year. The Jambos right-back has been out since rupturing his cruciate knee ligament during a indoor training session last April.

Source: PA

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