Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson is relishing returning to where it all began today – even if he knows he is in for a frosty reception at Fir Park.
The 19-year-old made his first top team appearance for former side Hamilton Accies in a Scottish Cup match against the Steelmen on January 20 earlier this year.
Ferguson has enjoyed a rapid rise since his first taste of competitive action, having netted an overhead kick in the Europa League against Burnley and a Hampden winner against Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-finals since making his summer move to Pittodrie.
The midfielder said: “I played my first senior game against Motherwell at Fir Park and it was one of the toughest games I’ve played in so far.
“I got flung straight into the starting 11 when I hadn’t had any experience at that level.
“I got a wee taste of what Scottish football could be like as they were dead physical and there wasn’t much football played that day.
“We lost 2-0 but I played OK. We played them again in the league at Hamilton and won 2-0 that time so I have won one and lost one against them so far as I was out injured when we beat them at Pittodrie earlier this season.
“Hopefully I can keep going where I left off the last time I played against them and get a win there for Aberdeen.
“I got a lot of stick from the Motherwell fans at Fir Park when I was with Accies but that is part and parcel of the game so I’m not bothered about that.”
The Dons won four matches on the spin ahead of the international break and Ferguson hopes the Reds can keep the momentum going at Fir Park today to ensure they head into next Sunday’s Betfred Cup final against Celtic in confident mood.
He said: “We’re obviously looking forward to the cup final but we’ve got to go and take care of league action.
“We’re sitting sixth right now but the league is really tight. We’re only five points off the top and second and have a game in hand as well. We’ve just got to go and take care of league action then look forward to the cup final next week.
“The past few weeks have been brilliant and we’ve just found that form that we were looking for at the start of the season, that overall performance. I think we got that against Hibs and that took us into the international break full of confidence and we just need to be consistent now and keep that up.”
Ferguson was encouraged to see national team manager Alex McLeish include four Dons players in his squad for the recent Nations League double-header against Albania and Israel.
While Mikey Devlin was forced to withdraw through injury and Gary Mackay-Steven was an unused substitute, Scott McKenna and Graeme Shinnie both added to their cap collection.
Ferguson feels it can only benefit the Dons to have as many players as possible involved at international level.
Ferguson said: “It’s great the likes of Gary, Shinnie and Scott are all experienced at that level. Niall McGinn has 50 caps for Northern Ireland. You feel the confidence when they take a touch.
“The confidence and experience that they bring into the Aberdeen side can only help us.”