Niall McGinn is at a stage in his career where every minute on the pitch is one to be savoured.
He is one of three players in the 33 club at Pittodrie with Dons captain Joe Lewis due to join Jonny Hayes, Andy Considine and McGinn in making it a quartet next week when he celebrates his birthday
While three of the four senior players have been regular starters this season McGinn has had to be patient for his chance due to the form of some of his team-mates but the Northern Ireland international showed he still has much to offer after an impressive display in his side’s 3-0 win at Ross County on Sunday.
It was the second league start in a row for McGinn but at this stage of his career he can look beyond his own desire to play and see the bigger picture.
He said: “It’s been one of those ones where I picked up an ankle injury against St Johnstone and had to come off.
“It’s just one of those situations where the team has just gelled. We’ve done reasonably well.
“I’ve just had to be patient. It’s what comes of a team doing well – there are a lot of good players here fighting for different positions.
“The boys who’ve come in and done real well – Scotty Wright and Ryan Hedges have been brilliant and these are players who play in my position.
“You have to be pleased for them because more often than not over the past couple of years there have been players behind me. They’ve come in and scored goals which is pleasing for them.”
McGinn may have played the role of being in the supporting cast in recent weeks but he is still enjoying his opportunities to play.
He said: “It can only benefit the team even if I’m not playing. When they see the calibration of player that’s behind them, it should push them even more to keep doing well.
“I was over the moon last week to come in and play. I enjoyed the game, I was on the ball, creating chances and it was an all round good day.
“We’d a good team meeting the day before the game and the manager was just getting his different points across – to try and get more shots away, create more chances on the front foot and get after them.
“That’s exactly how the game went. I thought we started really well and we’d a lot of attacking players on the pitch.
“He put me back into the team again which was pleasing and I played in my more natural position.
“I was just disappointed that I didn’t score as I’d a couple of chances that I should have done better with.
“All in all, we won the game and that’s all we wanted after the Motherwell defeat.”
Having helped his side return to winning ways in impressive fashion in Dingwall last weekend McGinn is eager to help his club go into the international break with another three points accumulated when St Mirren visit Pittodrie tonight.
Saints prop up the Premiership on goal difference after amassing seven points from their opening nine matches but McGinn is anticipating a testing night.
He said: “St Mirren made a lot of good signings in the summer so it’s a surprise to see them down where they are.
“But they are a good side, they added good players and I’d expect them to be a bit higher in the months ahead.
“What they’ve probably lacked so far is someone to score that goal for them because by all accounts they have played well in games but just not been able to put it in the net.
“We have to just concentrate on ourselves, that’s the most important thing. It’s down to us to make sure St Mirren’s confidence stays low by winning the game.”