Aberdeen V Kilmarnock at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

02 August 2013 05:01
Aberdeen V Kilmarnock - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Anderson plays down expectations

Russell Anderson dampened down the 'best of the rest' predictions being placed on Aberdeen ahead of their Scottish Premiership opener against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on Saturday.

Derek McInnes has revamped Aberdeen's squad over the summer as he sets out on his first full campaign as Dons manager, bringing in players such as Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Gregg Wylde.

Consequently, the Dons are being widely tipped to finish behind inevitable winners Celtic, whose boss Neil Lennon confirmed at his pre-match press conference that he expects the Granite City men to be their main challengers.

Anderson, 34, in his second spell at the Pittodrie club, has heard it all before, most recently last season when Aberdeen eventually finished eighth.

He told RedTV: "I can see why people are making it (the prediction) but they made the same prediction last season and look what happened.

"So I think we would be foolish to get ahead of ourselves and start shouting from the rooftops about where we are going to finish, we are going to do this, we are going to do that because as last season showed, things can quickly unravel.

"We had a good start to the season but tailed off and didn't finish nearly as strongly as we would have liked.

"The new players coming in, this is all new to them and I'm sure they will be feeling confident as we all are going into the start of the season, because as I say, we have prepared well for it.

"Hopefully it is the start of a good season for all of us and hopefully lots to look forward to."

The former Derby County defender believes Kilmarnock, under new boss Allan Johnston, will be something of an unknown quantity - like many clubs at the start of a new season.

He said: "Every opening day is a difficult game because everyone is in the same boat, they are full of enthusiasm, they have had a good pre-season under their belts and they may have one or two new players who are keen to impress their supporters and their manager.

"So we know it is going to be a difficult game.

"They have a new manager who will obviously be trying to instil his own ideas on the players so they are a bit of an unknown quantity, like a lot of the teams will be for the first few weeks of the season."

Aberdeen will be without Chris Clark and Andrew Considine.

Midfielder Clark is out after picking up a knee injury during a pre-season friendly match and defender Considine is still working his way back from a broken leg which has kept him out since last December.

Striker Calvin Zola has recovered from a knee injury picked up during a pre-season trip to Ireland.

Kris Boyd insists he put his family first when he knocked back friend David Weir and his Sheffield United team to sign on again with Kilmarnock.

Boyd penned a fresh one-year contract with the Rugby Park club on Thursday after rejoining his first club on a short-term deal last season.

The Scottish Premier League's all-time top scorer held talks with several clubs south of the border during the summer and admits that his former Ibrox colleague Weir came closest to persuading him to giving it another go in England after a disappointing spell with Middlesbrough.

Ultimately, the 29-year-old former Scotland international decided he could not put his wife Christine and their daughters Brooke and Savannah through another upheaval after spending the past three years moving between Scotland, England, Turkey and the United States.

Boyd, who returned to Killie after a 12-month stint with Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer, told Press Association Sport: "I said at the end of last season that I had enjoyed being back at Kilmarnock. It was always my first thought to try and get something sorted here because my family is back here and settled.

"We had to sort a few things out but it was a pretty easy decision in the end.

"I spoke to a few other teams during the summer, with the most tempting offer from Davie Weir at Sheffield United. We are close mates and Sheffield United are a big club.

"It was a move that crossed my mind but with my family being settled here and the travelling that would have been involved, I felt it was more important for me to concentrate on playing my football here in Scotland."

Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston is considering starting Boyd against the Dons in spite of a lack of pre-season action.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy Clingan has been ruled out after injuring his knee and joins skipper Manuel Pascali (broken leg) on Killie's list of absentees.

Source: PA