Aberdeen St Mirren Preview: McInnes, “We have always found a way to come through and people at this club remember that”

After a tough week for Derek McInnes the Dons boss came out fighting in his pre-match press conference before St Mirren on Saturday.

2021 has been a disaster for the Dons losing control of the final European spot in the league having been third with two games in hand before the turn of the year.

Now Aberdeen are fourth, five points behind Hibs with only a game in hand – which is against Celtic – with Livingston and St Mirren steadily catching the Dons.

“It is not the first time we have had a difficult run of results, but we have always found a way to come through it and people at this club remember that.”

All the focus has been on Livingston and David Martindale after their extraordinary fourteen game unbeaten run has put them within five points of Aberdeen. However Jim Goodwin has not done too bad at St Mirren with the Saints having won three of their last five in the league including a 2-1 victory over Celtic at Parkhead – the first time the Paisley side won in Glasgow in two decades.

St Mirren are sitting twelve points behind the Dons with a game in hand and are looking to secure their top six status.

The Saints’ form hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Dons gaffer who had a lot of respect for Goodwin’s achievements with the club.

On Saturday’s opponent McInnes said: “St Mirren have made it very clear that they want to be a top six team. It has got them to the stage where they see the top six is a real possibility for them and you have to say they are more than capable for that. They have done well and been very consistent over the last couple of months.”

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Greg Leigh is most likely out for the rest of the season after picking up a suspected hamstring injury within the first five minutes of the Easter Road loss last weekend.

Leigh joins Ryan Hedges on the ‘out for the season’ list, the Welsh winger’s campaign coming to an end against Livi last Tuesday.

January loanee Fraser Hornby has been unable to train due to catching a bug, which won’t help with the striker’s return to match fitness having not played for parent club Reims since September.

Florien Kamberi still hasn’t joined up with the squad due to waiting on his work permit. McInnes confirmed Kamberi is in the country but is still awaiting clearance to join the Dons. The striker was signed in the dying hours of the January transfer window from St Gallen on loan until the end of the season and is seen as the solution to Aberdeen’s goal drought – four games without scoring.

“Scrambling about on the last day of the window is not how I want to do business. We could have done a lot of work earlier and better, there was a lot that I wasn’t too happy about.”

Finally McInnes addressed what, in hindsight, is very much unwarranted calls for the Dons manager to be sacked after Aberdeen’s recent run of form – one win in eight.

McInnes has been at the club for this his eighth full season making him the third longest serving manager at the Dons.

McInnes has had to deal with lots of issues this season including rebuilding an entire strike force. The manager pointed that out whilst saying he’s been in this position before and is more than confident his experience will pull him through.

On Aberdeen’s situation McInnes said: “Scrambling about on the last day of the window is not how I want to do business. We could have done a lot of work earlier and better, there was a lot that I wasn’t too happy about.

“I have worked with this club for a long time now and you build up relationships.

“It is not the first time we have had a difficult run of results, but we have always found a way to come through it and people at this club remember that.”

Aberdeen v St Mirren, SPL, Saturday, Pittodrie, KO 3pm.

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