The debate about whether Ryan Hedges tried to score direct from his corner kick in Stavanger is underway at Aberdeen but his Dons team-mate Scott Wright is prepared to give the Wales international the benefit of the doubt.
Hedges fired home a spectacular second goal for the Dons at Viking FK to book a third qualifying round trip to Lisbon to face Sporting Clube de Portugal next week but whether he was aiming for the goal or simply the beneficiary of good fortune was clearly the talk of the flight back to Aberdeen after Thursday’s game.
Wright said: “He meant it like he meant the return pass (for me) at the Livingston goal so work that one out for yourself.
“I asked him after the game of he meant it and he said ‘not all all’. Just tell him that I said he meant it.
“It was a great delivery, to be fair. I think the goalie thought he was going to try to float it but he’s just whipped it and it’s dropped over his head and into the back of the net.”
While the debate about what was deliberate and simply lucky will continue Wright is thrilled to see his team-mate continue his fine start to the season with his wonder strike.
He said: “I’m buzzing for him. I can’t remember if that’s happened before in a game I’ve played in.
“I know Barry Robson did it. I’m not sure if I was involved that day or not but I’ve seen clips of it online. Baz was obviously speaking about it last night saying that Ryan had joined an exclusive club.
“I actually couldn’t believe it when it went in. I thought someone might have got a touch on it but having seen it back it just went straight in.”
The good humour about the goal reflects on the mood within the Aberdeen camp at the minute with Thursday’s win taking the club’s winning run to six matches.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) September 18, 2020
Wright said: “It is tremendous. It just shows the team spirit we have. A lot of the boys are enjoying their football at the minute and long may it continue.”
The reward of a trip to Lisbon next week is a deserved one for the Dons players and Wright and his team-mates are eagerly looking forward to their Portuguese test.
He said: “It’s tremendous – a really good draw and one we’re all really looking forward to. We know the history of them and they’ve produced some fantastic players.
“We were focused on the tie on Thursday night just to make sure we got through that. Obviously we’ve got the game on Sunday which will be out focus. After that we’ll focus on Sporting.”
For now, Sporting can wait, however, as the challenge of making it seven in a row now faces the Dons as they prepare to welcome fellow Europa League competitors Motherwell to Pittodrie tomorrow.
The Steelmen have struggled for consistency domestically so far and Wright is no mood to offer them any comfort tomorrow.
Wright said: “Motherwell have been travelling, the same as us, but the main thing for us is the way we’re playing at the minute and we’ll focus on how we set-up to attack them and exploit their weaknesses.”