Jim Goodwin was happy to see his Aberdeen top their Premier Sports Cup group with maximum points, but was realistic enough to point out there was still a lot of work to be done before the league season begins next weekend.
“I’m delighted with the end result and another clean sheet, but there were also a lot of things we could do better in the game. We were very sloppy in the first 20 minutes of possession, cheap turnovers, poor transitions and I explained to the guys at half time that if they did that next weekend at Parkhead we would meet again two or three goals.
“It was too easy for Raith at the start, we were sloppy, we felt it was going to be too easy. We took that and improved from there. At half time we talked about attacking them in wide areas because they had crowded the midfield, it was very tight there so we had to get the overloads out and from there we were better in the second half.
“We could have had more goals, there were parts of our game that were really good. We produced entertaining football that seemed to attract the fans and buy into what we’re trying to do. Christian had a really good header where the lad makes a great save in goal, when he was in goal I wish he rolled it to his left to let Duk out of the mark with a tap-in , but I won I’m not criticizing the big man for that, he’s a striker!
“Overall, I must be very satisfied. The group is still in its infancy, we are not yet finished in the recruitment market, but there are signs that we can be optimistic. There are things in our game that we need to improve, but that’s natural. They’re a relatively new group, we’ve spent a lot of pre-season talking about our attacking play and it wasn’t really until last week that we started looking at defensive form. We will work a lot harder on that next week with a view to going to Celtic.
“But really, I don’t think we can ask for a better start to competitive games than what we’ve had. Clean sheets were a real issue last season, but so far we’ve looked solid. Stewart and Scales have struck a decent partnership, Roos hasn’t been tested much yet but he has brought comfort and confidence to the back line, Ramadani reads the game in front of them so well I don’t think anyone will surpass us, we have leaders in the group, we have good quality in the attacking areas so we can go and hurt the teams, and we have the rhythm, which is the most important thing.
“The new guys have gelled a lot quicker than I imagined and the group application has been great. Three Premier League clubs came out of this competition in the groups but we eventually got through it and it is a credit to the players.
“Now we have come to Annan Athletic in the next round and that means we all expect us to come back. I have a lot of respect for Pete Murphy, I know him well, they won’t be under any pressure, but we won’t underestimate them. It’s on astroturf, it can be very tricky, so we’ll have to be as professional in this game as we have been in these four games.
The Dons presented a new number 9 today to Bojan Miovski, after some changes to the squad numbers.
“Miovski is number 9, but it’s just a number, I don’t really mind what number they have, people can read that too much. When we were negotiating with Bojan to bring him here, he wanted this shirt. Christian understands this situation very well, and he now has two number 9s, so he is happy!
“It’s good that Bojan scored his goal, you want your strikers to get up and run early, and he dispatched it brilliantly. He only had two training sessions, he was judged at the half time, but we just wanted to try and get another 10 or 15 minutes in his legs. He’s behind the group because of the delay that got him here, but he’ll get sharper.
Goal of the day came from Ross McCrorie, a howler from 25 yards to take him up to three goals for the campaign already, much to the delight of his manager.
I think McCrorie is a really underrated footballer. People think he’s a bit of a dog in the middle of the park, but he’s way better than that and way better than he thinks he is to be honest. Every week I want him to have that confidence he showed by scoring a special goal today. We ask him to go a little further, to buy a ticket a little over ten like he did today, so I was very happy that he scored his goal again today.
There was also a word of praise for Mason Hancock, making his fourth straight start for the Dons.
“Mason had a 20 minute lead at Peterhead and it would have been easy to take him out after that but I wanted to give him a chance to show people he can play and he went and did that in the games. He’s very good offensively, very comfortable on the ball, good boy, well mannered, respectful, not afraid to dig in and do the hard work We have high hopes for him but at the same time , we still need coverage as Jack MacKenzie struggles to stay in shape by the minute.
“In terms of player recruitment, that means we need a bit of left-back coverage and I’d like another attacking player. To add to that, when Connor Barron is out of the squad, we’re a bit lacking. creativity from midfield, so hopefully we’ll have some news on an attacking midfielder who will arrive the next day or so Bringing the quality that we have doesn’t come easily, there’s a lot going on in the behind the scenes, the board and the president have to produce the finances, so it’s a big team effort to make all of this happen. We’re not done yet.