Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has hailed the contribution of unsung hero Andy Considine, who returns to the squad for this weekend’s meeting with Partick Thistle.
Considine, who has made 418 appearances for the Reds, missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock through suspension with captain Graeme Shinnie deployed at left back in his absence.
McInnes believes the influence Considine has on the team is often overlooked.
He said: “His teammates and myself as the manager really appreciate the value of Andy.
“I think he would be the first to acknowledge that he doesn’t always get the headlines that others get.
“You want your defenders to be solid, dependable and limit their mistakes throughout the season.
“We know we can rely on Andy and it is great to have him back available.
“It allows us to put Graeme Shinnie back in midfield.
“Although Graeme scored his goal from that left back area on Saturday and did very well in the game I always feel we miss his influence in the middle of the park.”
Meanwhile, Partick manager Alan Archibald has leapt to the defence of McInnes who has come under fire from some sections of the Aberdeen support.
But he insists their friendship will go out the window tomorrow as Partick Thistle are desperate for points to climb out of the Premiership danger zone.
The Dons have fallen six points behind second-placed Rangers – albeit with a game in hand – after losing to Hibs and Celtic last month.
And their future in the Scottish Cup is in jeopardy as they face a difficult replay at Kilmarnock next Tuesday night.
But Archibald – a team-mate of McInnes at Dundee United – reckons any criticism for the Aberdeen manager is out of order.
The Firhill boss said: “Derek took over at a similar time as me and Aberdeen were at the bottom end of the league. He’s done a fantastic job every year.
“The league has got stronger this season, teams are getting better and more money is being spent, so regarding the job he’s doing, I think finishing second in any league is a marvellous achievement.
“Aberdeen have evolved this season. I think they are a different team from last year but still have good quality.”