Aberdeen V Motherwell at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

10 May 2014 12:31
Aberdeen V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Reynolds keen to make his mark

Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds is glad his former club Motherwell will join the Dons in Europe next season but is determined to make sure it will be as the third best team in Scotland when the two sides meet at Pittodrie on Sunday.

Derek McInnes' second-placed side are one point ahead of the Steelmen going into the last Scottish Premiership weekend of the season.

Whoever finishes runners-up to champions Celtic will enter the Europa League qualifiers at a later round than the third-placed club. Reynolds, 27, who started his career at hometown club Motherwell, before a spell at Sheffield Wednesday, is looking for that extra couple of weeks summer holiday.

"I am delighted Motherwell are back in Europe," the 27-year-old told RedTV.

"They have always been my team and it is great to see them doing well but you always want to do better than your old team so it puts a wee extra edge on it.

"Obviously both of us are in Europe now and it is about seeing who finishes the best of the rest so it is going to be a great game and hopefully we can put on a show for the fans.

"The incentive is there for us as well as them.

" The extra couple of weeks is massive because the season has been hard fought.

"Both teams have been dogging it out all season. We haven't given each other any breathing room so it is fitting that it comes down to this game to decide it. I am sure it will come down to who wants it more.

"Going into Europe a little later on and getting the extra couple of weeks off, is an added bonus."

Reynolds believes Aberdeen could take advantage of the fact that Stuart McCall's men need to win.

He said: "It definitely changes the dynamics of the game slightly they can't just sit in and hit on the break.

"But one thing about Motherwell, and we have seen all year, is that they know how to win games.

"They have a way of playing and breaking teams down to get three points and that is why they have the chance of finishing second. So it's going to be tough game."

Midfielder Willo Flood is a doubt after he suffered a dead leg in the win over Dundee United at Tannadice in midweek.

A second-place finish will not improve Motherwell manager Stuart McCall's budget for next season because he has already been told his wage bill will stay the same.

The Motherwell board have decided McCall should retain this year's budget after he secured another European place, despite posting combined losses of almost B#800,000 in the previous two seasons.

But a victory over Aberdeen would ensure the Scottish Premiership runners-up spot and an extra B#240,000 prize money for the club, which will be warmly welcomed in the boardroom.

"It would mean everything," McCall said. "Obviously out of that you pay bigger bonuses for finishing second so it wouldn't actually be 250, but there will still be a lot more money in the kitty.

"In fairness to the board, we haven't had any cup runs this season or sold a player for any money, but for them to say to me for next season the budget will stay the same has been a great bonus, because I expected it to be cut.

"We haven't had a (league) sponsor this year and next year there's not going to be a Hearts, a Rangers or mabye another Premiership club, so finances might be tight again."

Aberdeen remain favourites for second but McCall has always classed them as such.

"It's been a fantastic achievement to get third but obviously it would be even better to clinch second," he said.

"It's not mind games, it's Aberdeen's to lose. We have got to go up there and win. We did it on Boxing Day and we are going to try and do it again.

"They are a terrific side. I said at the beginning of the season that in my eyes, anyone finishing above them would be in Europe, would be second.

"And that wasn't to put pressure on them, it's knowing what a good management team they have got and what a good squad of players they have got, and obviously if they get on a roll, they have a tremendous following home and away.

"For us to still be in there with a chance is credit to our players."

Motherwell have lost forward Craig Moore to serious injury ahead of the clash.

The teenager faces a lengthy spell out after damaging his cruciate ligament against Inverness in midweek.

Source: PA