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Aberdeen V St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

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21 Dec 2012 18:01:20

Aberdeen V St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

Aberdeen V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Reynolds bemoans tight league

Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds believes the Clydesdale Bank Premier League has become so tight this season that fixtures can now almost be described as "six-pointers".

The Dons host St Johnstone looking to get back on track following three successive SPL defeats, which has left them seventh in the table, albeit only a point behind fifth-placed Saints.

Reynolds, on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, stressed the importance a victory or two can make to league positions as clubs battle for top-six and European placings.

"St Johnstone are certainly one of the form teams, they are up there on merit," the 25-year-old told RED TV.

"They are getting good results and playing good football.

"There's a lot of teams going well in the league and the top six or seven teams are very tight so these games are becoming almost six-pointers.

"Three results catapult you up the league and as you've seen with us, we were one game away from going top of the league and now we are sitting mid-table.

"Losing a couple of games on the spin is costing you big time so I think we need to change that, get the three points and a win gets us right back into the mix."

Reynolds points to Aberdeen's on-going injury problems as a reason for the Dons' recent slump in which they have to look back to October 27 for their last home league win.

Stephen Hughes, Ryan Fraser, Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac Osbourne remain out while goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is suspended after failing with his appeal against the red card picked up against Kilmarnock last week.

"Home form is what you build a successful season on, " said Reynolds.

"We need people to fear coming here.

"At the start of the season they were, no one was getting away with three points, we were getting draws and sneaking victories ourselves and that is what we built the strong season on.

"It is disappointing that teams are coming and taking cheap goals from us and taking the points."

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas admits he will be looking for a trouble-free 2013 after escaping his latest disciplinary charge.

A Scottish Football Association judicial panel did not add to the Northern Irishman's eight-game touchline ban on Thursday after deciding a warning would suffice following his dismissal against Hibernian last month.

Lomas was found guilty of misconduct by kicking a water bottle carrier in frustration when Nigel Hasselbaink missed a late penalty in his side's 1-0 home defeat on November 28.

The former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder was hit with a six-match touchline ban earlier this month after being sent to the stand during his side's 1-1 draw at Celtic Park, which also sparked a further two-match punishment which had been suspended after he labelled Ross County midfielder Richard Brittain a cheat.

Lomas, who has already served three matches and is due to return to the technical area when Celtic visit McDiarmid Park on January 26, said: "I got a fair hearing and the panel recognised the water bottle was about pure frustration and not malice and I think common sense prevailed.

"There was really only one (charge) I believe amounted to anything and that was foul and abusive language at the Celtic game, and I apologised for that.

"I stand by what I said after the Ross County game and kicking a water battle when your team has missed a penalty - it's not the biggest crime is it?

"I do believe you don't want to take the passion out of the game. I'm a passionate guy but I am also an honest guy.

"I realise my card has been marked and I am treading a fine line.

"So I will be taking a look at myself and hopefully the rest of the season is incident free."

St Johnstone travel to Aberdeen where Lomas anticipates a difficult game against a club he believes boasts the second-strongest squad in the league.

Despite that Stephen Hughes, Ryan Fraser, Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac Osbourne remain out, while goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is suspended after failing with his appeal against the red card picked up against Kilmarnock last week.

"It is going to be very difficult," said the Perth boss.

"They have a very good squad. Indeed, if Craig Brown has everyone fit then Aberdeen probably have the best squad in the SPL outside of Celtic.

"By all accounts they were unlucky against Kilmarnock last week and they knocked Motherwell out of the cup before that.

"But no-one has the right to be second in this league, as you have seen, everyone can beat everyone else on their day."


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