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Still Worth Delivering 100%
Published : 11 Apr 2011 17:39:15
The pressure is off for this season for Hibs and Aberdeen so they are using the rest of their league commitments to prepare for 2011-12 Akpo Sodje insists Hibs still have a lot to play for after the split as they want to record a high a finish as possible. Sodje scored the only goal of the game as his side beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie and sees the games as a chance to consolidate and prepare for next season. Both sides had five under-21 players in their starting XI on Saturday, and Sodje also feels that giving the youngsters the chance to build experience while the pressure is off can only be a good thing. He said: "It was good to score again. I've got two goals already since I've been here, so to get another one under my belt is a great achievement. It's good for the team that we got three points and that's the main thing. We were disappointed we didn't have a run at the start of the season as we could have ended up in a good position. We're trying to finish as high as we can. We lost to Celtic in our last game, but we came here looking to push forward to achieve that." The Easter Road striker is looking ahead to next season, and feels the club have everything in place to do better next time around. He went on: "It's disappointing not to finish in the top six. Come next season we'll be working hard to try to finish up there. We've got the squad, the team spirit and the manager and coaching staff to help us do that." The former Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday striker sees the post-split game as an opportunity to blood more youngsters, and added: "With the games left, finishing top of the bottom six would be a good achievement for us. We're going to push as hard as we can and try to get the confidence back into the team. To us, the games won't be meaningless. We're going to use the games to get into our stride for next season. I'm still trying to understand the split, but we'll be giving it 100%. It will also let our young players get games and gain experience, and that'll be good for us." Aberdeen winger Sone Aluko is looking forward to a midweek league game against Rangers, before next Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic. The Nigerian international was frustrated to see his side punished for a defensive mistake against Hibs, and also to pass up so many chances during a game in which they struck the woodwork three times. He said: "It was disappointing. In the second half, especially, we created a lot of chances and quite good chances as well. You'd rather be creating the chances than not and eventually a couple will go in." Aluko is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against both halves of the Old Firm over the next seven days. He said: "We're looking forward to it. You like to play against the best teams and challenge yourself, but we can't play the way we did at the start of today's game. We have to start well and take our chances or we won't get a favourable result. I think we are capable of an upset. We've done it in the past, and I think we can do it again if we concentrate, don't make so many errors, and take our chances." Like Hibs, the Dons are resigned to a bottom six finish, but Aluko is still hoping Craig Brown's men can finish the season strongly. He concluded: "We want to win our last few games to finish as high up the table as possible, and hopefully get to a cup final to give the fans something to remember of this season."