Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Duncan Shearer column: Time for Ryan Hedges to embrace his role as Aberdeen’s leading man

Aberdeen's Ryan Hedges.
Aberdeen's Ryan Hedges.

Ryan Hedges has emerged as Aberdeen’s key man for the Premiership run-in after marking his return to action with a man-of-the-match display for the Dons on Saturday.

Hedges missed Aberdeen’s 4-1 defeat at Ross County last week and he showed just how important he is to the way Derek McInnes’s side play with a hugely impressive performance on his return from suspension in the 2-0 win against Motherwell at Pittodrie at the weekend.

Hedges plays football the way I want to watch it. He is willing to go down the line and get crosses in and cut inside and have shots at goal.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges (L) and Motherwell’s Jake Carroll.

He is a player who gets fans off their seats and, had there been supporters in the stadium on Saturday, I have no doubt they would have given his efforts a rousing reception.

With Scott Wright signing his pre-contract agreement to move to Rangers next season, the contribution from Hedges will be even more significant for Aberdeen.

Wright has done well this season, but, given the fact Ibrox interest in him has been public for a couple of weeks, it is in the interests of Aberdeen and the player for this deal to be concluded before the window closes on Monday.

While McInnes will be sad to see Wright go in this window, I would hope the other players at Pittodrie, while wishing him well, would see his departure as a chance to stake their claim for the soon to be vacant place in the team.

Aberdeen midfielder Scott Wright and Motherwell’s Robbie Crawford.

I am sure Derek and Tony Docherty – despite the public statements about it being unlikely any new faces will be coming in – will have a few options in the pipeline, but we will have to wait another week to see if there are any new arrivals at the club.

But for me Hedges remains the integral figure for Aberdeen.

With Marley Watkins back at Bristol and Wright heading out the door it has fallen to Hedges to provide the attacking spark for the strikers.

That was evident against Motherwell and, while he did not score, Hedges was heavily involved in Aberdeen’s attacking play and what stood out more than the two goals scored was the number of shots at goal from the home side.

The 26 attempts from the Dons is the sort of statistic which will have put a smile on the manager’s face after a disappointing result.

McInnes will be hoping to see that trend continue this week in the away games against Betfred Cup finalists St Johnstone and Livingston.

Both sides are in good form, but Aberdeen should go into the games with confidence following Saturday’s display.

ANALYSIS: Trio sparkle as Aberdeen rediscover attacking intensity against Motherwell

Yogi will look for Staggies reaction

Ross County manager John Hughes will be looking for the same reaction Derek McInnes got from his players as the Staggies bid to bounce back from their 5-0 loss at Rangers at the weekend when Motherwell visit Dingwall tomorrow.

The one thing you have to do when playing Rangers or Celtic away from home is make sure you are still in the game at the break, but the game was done and dusted by half-time as far as County were concerned at Ibrox. That will be the biggest disappointment for Yogi.

I am not shocked County lost the game, but obviously a 1-0 loss does less damage psychologically than a 5-0 defeat does.

It will have stung hard and I expect the journey back up the road after the game would have been a quiet one, but there is no time to feel sorry for themselves ahead of a massive game tomorrow.

Motherwell will be just as determined as County to improve their league position and this is a classic six-pointer between two teams at the bottom of the table.

Celtic speculation is all disrespectful

All season I’ve seen Eddie Howe linked with Celtic. Now it is Rafa Benitez being linked with the job which is still occupied by Neil Lennon.

Whether it is fanciful thinking or there is something in the link will become clear soon enough, but I would be surprised if Benitez, a Champions League winner, would be interested in a move to Scotland.

Celtic are a massive club, but it is a different challenge up here than in the Premier League in England or in Spain.

I find it all disrespectful to Lennon. Almost a week has passed since the 2-2 draw at Livingston and, for all the criticism, he is still in charge at the club.

They should be allowed to deal with the current manager’s future first before facing speculation about the next guy coming in.

I would be surprised if anything happened now, but if Lennon goes he can go with his head held high.