Sunday’s 3-3 draw between Aberdeen and Celtic was fantastic to watch and there were a lot of positives for Derek McInnes to take.
The negatives were obviously the three goals against, but I think both managers will be going away shaking their heads, seeing some strengths and frailties there.
For the Dons, Ryan Edmondson is back fit again and big Sam Cosgrove came on and had a hand in one of the goals. There are pleasing things there and it’s going to make Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final between these two sides a cracker.
I think Aberdeen know they can get at Celtic and know they can score goals against them. They can keep it tight and when their chances come along they need to take them.
Would it surprise me if they beat Celtic? No, I don’t think so. I think Aberdeen have got something good going now. They’re pleasing on the eye and looking good.
It’s a hard thing for a team to do, to keep the back door shut and score goals. If you’re a team that can do that you’ll win the league.
At the moment, Aberdeen can’t quite do that but if you’re going to drop points, dropping them the way you did in scoring three goals against Celtic isn’t bad. Celtic would expect to beat Aberdeen, scoring three goals at Pittodrie.
I’ve been complimentary about Ryan Hedges and I watched Scott Wright up at Dingwall – he was very impressive up there.
They’ve got a good bench and they’ve got Sam back again. If he gets game-time under his belt again he’s another big threat.
They’ve got a good back three with Tommie Hoban, Ash Taylor and Andy Considine and I think they’ve got a great squad. I don’t think they’ll be as far away from Celtic and Rangers points-wise as people think.
I don’t think the mindset changes at all this week going down to Hampden. As a player, I never felt two games were alike. If you played double-headers, the two games could be completely different.
You had six goals at Pittodrie, but it would not surprise me if it was won by one goal on Sunday. People might be expecting another goal-fest, but you don’t know with football. Managers don’t know what they’re going to get from their players every week.
That semi-final could go any way. If Aberdeen were to beat Celtic, I think they would be rightly put down as favourites to win the cup, although you’ve got two good teams in Hearts and Hibernian.
I would be treating this Celtic game as a final. I certainly wouldn’t be thinking we’d won the cup if we beat Celtic, but I would think this is our year.
Heart-stopping task for a Jambos legend
Inverness deserved a point against Ayr United on Saturday considering the number of players they had out injured.
I thought it was a good game and a draw was probably a fair result, considering they equalised quite late in the game. They looked decent enough but that’s them five points behind Hearts, having only played two games.
I said a few weeks ago it’s going to be hard to stop that sort of team, with what they have. I know John Robertson said you hang on to them as long as you can, but, for me, even at this early stage there doesn’t seem to be much stopping Hearts.
Caley Thistle will be concentrating on the play-off spot, which I think they knew all along. I’ve always been impressed by the young lads Inverness have, but they’ve still got a lot to learn. It looks like they’ll be playing most weeks and it’s a lot to put on their shoulders.
John knows himself he’s going to have to utilise his squad as much as he can. That’s the way it’s going to go for him until they get out of this injury mess.
Certainly, when everyone is fit, they’ve got the basis of a squad that can finish in second or third place.
A fond farewell to quotes king Ebbe
I was sad to hear of former Dons boss Ebbe Skovdahl’s passing.
I had a good conversation with him when we went there with Inverness. We went into his office after and opened the door – a big puff of smoke came out. I remember Steve Paterson saying ‘this is the place for me’ as Steve liked a cigarette himself.
We were in there and I remember trying to see through this cloud of smoke while we were talking about football. He was an awfully nice man and who will ever forget that quote against Celtic – the operation was a success, but the patient died.
I can only speak from the few moments I had with him. But he was a fantastic man.