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Aberdeen V St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

28 Feb 2014 17:31:00

Aberdeen V St Johnstone at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

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


Reynolds: Dons mean business

Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds believes his new contract is a signal of intent by Derek McInnes to the rest of Scottish football.


The 26-year-old has signed an extension to his current deal that ties him to the club for the remainder of this campaign and the next four seasons.


The former Motherwell and Sheffield Wednesday centre-half only penned a four-and-a-half-year deal 12 months ago but has now agreed to stay for a further year, committing to the Dons until the summer of 2018.


Reynolds believes the signing should act as a warning to the rest of the sides in the Scottish Premiership that boss McInnes is serious about building his side to become a major force once more.


He has already guided the Dons to second in the Scottish Premiership, while they face Inverness in next month's League Cup final and also have a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Dumbarton to look forward to.


Speaking ahead of Saturday's league clash at home to St Johnstone, Reynolds told RedsTV: "I'm very happy to sign the contract extension.


"I have made no secret of the fact I am enjoying my football here. I am enjoying life on and off the park and my family are very settled in the city. When the gaffer came and offered me a year extension I was more than happy to sign it.


"I was a little bit surprised. When you have three and a half years left on your current contract you don't expect to get anything on top of it.


"I think the manager wants to put out a statement of intent and tell people that he is wanting to build something here. He is saying that Aberdeen is a big club that wants to challenge and be in cup finals and to do that the club needs to keep the best players."


Dons boss McInnes has an unchanged squad for the Scottish Premiership clash with St Johnstone.


Russell Anderson is set to come back into the team after being rested from the start for the midweek victory over Celtic.


Clark Robertson (knee) and Ryan Jack (hip) remain on the sidelines but the latter will be back "sooner rather than later". Young midfielder Craig Murray (groin) is struggling while Craig Storie remains out.


St Johnstone have signed former Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Hibernian player Tim Clancy in a bid to solve their defensive injury crisis.


Irishman Clancy, who left Easter Road in January following an injury-hit 18 months, has signed until the end of the season after defenders Frazer Wright and Tam Scobbie both succumbed to ankle ligament injuries during last weekend's defeat by Inverness.


Wright is out for at least a month while Scobbie will have an operation next week and has joined knee-injury victim Murray Davidson on the sidelines for the rest of the campaign.


Clancy joined Saints for training on Thursday along with former Norwich defender Michael Spillane and Tommy Wright has made a swift decision to bring the 29-year-old in.


The versatile defender could now be involved at Aberdeen as Saints bid to build on their 3-0 midweek win over Motherwell.


Steven Anderson, who had a three-month absence with a dislocated thumb earlier in the season, is determined to overcome the loss of fellow defenders Wright and Scobbie and push for a top-six place.


"They are big players for the team," Anderson said. "We have had quite a few injuries defender wise, and the likes of Macca and Muzz. It's not like us, we are usually not too bad for injuries. They are freak injuries as well.


"It's frustrating for the team plus the boys who are injured as well. But we have good medical staff and they get back you back as quick as possible.


"Sometimes it happens in football. It's frustrating, you want to get everyone back playing but there is not a lot you can do. We have coped well, but we want to improve every year. We finished third last year but even top six would be a reasonable finish and hopefully we can get a cup run."


Saints emphatically avenged their 4-0 New year's Day defeat against Motherwell in midweek and they will need similar improvement when they take on their League Cup semi-final conquerors at Pittodrie.


"We obviously need to do a lot better than the last time we played Aberdeen, and have a wee bit more guile in front of goal," Anderson said. "It's going to be a hard game up there because they are on a good run.


"They are very quick on the counter, and are very good players to be honest. We have to nullify that and impose ourselves on the game."



PA

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