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Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass confident new strike duo will bring a goal threat after first pre-season friendly

Aberdeen midfielder Scott Brown in action during the 1-1 friendly draw against Caley Thistle.
Aberdeen midfielder Scott Brown in action during the 1-1 friendly draw against Caley Thistle.

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has backed new strike duo Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Christian Ramirez to bring a goal threat.

Glass was delighted with the contribution of both summer signings as Emmanuel-Thomas netted a goal on his Dons debut in a 1-1 friendly draw with Inverness Caley Thistle at Cormack Park.

Emmanuel-Thomas, aka JET, played the first half of the closed door friendly with Ramirez featuring in the second half.

Although Ramirez didn’t score against the Highlanders he got off the mark in a bounce game with the Dons’ youth Academy stars later in the day.

With both strikers rapidly off the mark Glass is confident Ramirez and Emmanuel-Thomas will be a strong addition for the upcoming season.

Caley Thistle midfielder Aaron Doran in action in the 1-1 friendly draw against Aberdeen. Supplied by Aberdeen FC

Glass said: “It is always positive when you get your centre-forwards on the pitch and they are scoring goals.

“They just looked like a threat, were very positive and worked well for the team.

“Christian wasn’t fortunate enough to get one in that game (against Inverness Caley Thistle) but he managed to score a couple in the other one later on.

“I think they are going to be a great addition.”

Debuts for Scott Brown and Jack Gurr

The draw with the Highlanders was the first friendly of Aberdeen’s pre-season as  Glass prepares the Dons for the Uefa Europa Conference League clash with Swedish side BK Hacken on Thursday July 22.

New signings Scott Brown and Jack Gurr also made their debuts.

Fellow new signings Declan Gallagher and Teddy Jenks, on loan from Brighton, did not feature against Inverness Caley Thistle.

Gallagher recently reported for duty at the Dons having been part of the 26 man Scotland squad at Euro 2020.

Former Celtic skipper Brown played the first half with right-back Gurr, secured from MLS side Atlanta United, featuring for the second 45 minutes.

Despite fielding two completely different sides in either half Glass confirmed all first team players involved secured 90 minutes of action due to the later game featuring Academy players.

Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson in action in the 1-1 draw against Caley Thistle at Cormack Park. Supplied by Aberdeen FC

He said: “It was great as we managed to get 90 minutes into everybody.

“We used Barry (Robson)  and Scott (Anderson) from the Academy so they were prepared for their game with Buckie (Aberdeenshire Cup quarter-final on Saturday).

“So we managed to get 90 minutes into the whole of the first team group.

“The boys looked fit and were a threat all the time.

“Inverness were good and are close to being fit for the start of their season with the BetFred Cup coming up.

“They were missing players to be fair but it was a good test and a good fitness exercise.

“The fact all the players got 90 minutes is a huge positive for us.”

Emmanuel-Thomas on target

In the 12th minute Emmaunel-Thomas came close to netting when his effort from six yards flashed inches wide.

Emmanuel-Thomas was again involved soon after when his neat pass played Lewis Ferguson through on goal but the midfielder shot over from an acute angle.

However it was the Championship side who netted first when Cameron Harper found Shane Sutherland who converted in the 22nd minute.

Near the half hour mark Emmanuel-Thomas secured a debut goal when finding space to meet a Niall McGinn corner before lashing in a half volley from 15 yards.

On the stroke of half time Ferguson and Emmanuel-Thomas linked up again with a neat one-two but Ferguson fired wide.

Summer signings Scott Brown and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas during an Aberdeen training session at Cormack Park

All change at half-time with Ramirez on

It was all change at half-time with a complete switch of players.

Midfielder Funso Ojo was back in action for the Dons following his return from a loan spell at Wigan Athletic.

Highly rated young defender Kieran Ngwenya also started the second half having made his international debut for Malawi in their friendly against Tanzania last month.

Ramirez came close to making an immediate impact when he pounced on a slack back-pass but keeper Cameron MacKay rushed out to save his shot.

Keeper Gary Woods, on for Joe Lewis at the break, had to be alert when a lob from Walsh looked to be dipping in at the far post but he tipped it over.

Winger Jonny Hayes and Ramirez quickly developed an understanding and were linking up well.

New signing Christian Ramirez (R) with Andy Considine (L) and Ryan Hedges during an Aberdeen training session

Hayes twice found Ramirez with crosses from the left with the United States international first firing just wide.

Soon after Ramirez took a touch to control a Hayes cross but his shot was deflected wide.

Aberdeen came close to securing a late winner when Ryan Hedges created space to shoot but fired over from 30 yards late on.

No fresh injury concerns for Aberdeen

Glass confirmed there were no injury issues from the friendlies.

He said: “We’ve been fortunate in that aspect.

“The training has been good and the boys have all come through it so we’re going to be healthy and competitive provided we come through the games next Friday.”

United States international striker Christian Ramirez with midfielder Funso Ojo.

Aberdeen First Half Team: Joe Lewis, Ross McCrorie, Andy Considine, Scott Brown, Niall McGinn, Jay Emmaunel-Thomas, Connor McLennan, Lewis Ferguson, Calvin Ramsay, Kieran Ngwenya, Matty Kennedy.

Aberdeen Second Half Team: Gary Woods, Ross McCrorie, Andy Considine, Jack MacKenzie, Christian Ramirez, Ryan Hedges, Dylan McGeouch, Funso Ojo, Jonny Hayes, Jack Gurr, Dean Campbell.

 

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