Connor McLennan hopes he can be the spark that reignites Aberdeen’s flagging goalscoring record.
The Dons have managed 17 goals this season – just five more than bottom-of-the-table Dundee – and no striker has scored more than two goals.
Manager Derek McInnes has pleaded for one of his misfiring frontmen to step up to the plate and take the scoring mantle, as Gary Mackay-Steven leads the way this season with six goals.
McLennan scored on his first start against St Mirren and was turned to by McInnes when Mackay-Steven went off injured in the Betfred Cup final. He has started both the Rangers and St Johnstone game since then and feels the quality will come in the final third.
He said: “I think he has given me that shot because that’s what I’ve been doing at the younger age group. There’s a lot of games still to come this month and the more games I get and the team get we’ll gel and get that spark.
“The talent we have at the top end of the pitch with the likes of James Wilson, Stevie May, Niall McGinn and Gaz means there are goals in the team. It’s just a case of creating enough chances and there will come a time when we start finishing them.
“It definitely gave me a lot of confidence how quickly he turned to me at Hampden and hopefully I can repay that faith the manager has in me. I was gutted for Gaz as it was a serious injury but I was confident enough coming on in such a big game. It was just a case of keeping doing what the team had been in the game but obviously it was disappointing to lose the final.
“Going to Ibrox for the first time and playing in our win there a few days later was brilliant though and I was buzzing.”
The Peterhead-born youngster, who is primarily a striker but has played on the wing in the first-team, signed a new contract last week, tying him to the club until 2021. He credits the Dons’ youth coaches and his loan stint at Brechin City last year for preparing him for senior football.
McLennan added: “I’m delighted to get that sorted and hopefully I can push on now for the next few years. Obviously Bruce and me have been in the youth team together and I’ve been with the club since I was eight so I know all the coaches. They’ve really helped me a lot and I can’t thank them enough really for the way they’ve helped my development.
“It was the game time I needed at a good level at that age and it helped me massively for when I came back to Aberdeen. Of course it didn’t go to plan really in terms of the results there but the manager and the boys were brilliant with me.
“Some of the performances didn’t deserve some of the results that we suffered but I got the chance to play against the likes of Dundee United and Caley Thistle. I would certainly recommend going out on loan to any young player as it was definitely a boost to my career.”