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Callum Hendry keen to step into leading Aberdeen role after opening goal for the Dons

Callum Hendry is congratulated after his first Aberdeen goal.
Callum Hendry is congratulated after his first Aberdeen goal.

Callum Hendry insists he can be the man to lead the line for Aberdeen after breaking their scoring duck.

Hendry came off the bench to head in the winner against Kilmarnock on Saturday, which was the Dons’ first goal in 574 minutes and their first win in six games.

He came on for Fraser Hornby, who went off injured less than 20 minutes into the game, and headed in Niall McGinn’s free-kick with his first touch of the ball.

It comes in a bittersweet manner for Hendry, who does not want to see any of his team-mates getting injured, but he is eager to seize his chance at Pittodrie.

He said: “I’ve got on really well with Fraser since he’s come in, we’ve got really close. I hate seeing any of my pals get injured so I hope it’s nothing serious. I hope I’ve done enough for a starting spot next week and I’ll take my chance again.

“From a selfish point of view, it is my opportunity but it’s come in the worst way I would want it to. I would rather come on in the 80th minute, Fraser be fit and me score, so all three strikers are fit. We’re a team, we’re pals, but it is what it is.

“I’ve been loving it here. The boys are amazing, the gaffer, Tony (Docherty) and the staff are really good. There’s a really nice feel about the place. I’m really enjoying my football again.

Hendry found the net nine times last season for St Johnstone but had not scored in 16 games for the Perth side earlier in the campaign.

However, when Aberdeen and Derek McInnes came knocking on Deadline Day, it was an opportunity he could not turn down.

The Dons completed an about-turn in their striking department, moving on Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main and loaning out Bruce Anderson. Hendry came in, along with Hornby and Kamberi, as McInnes rang the changes.

Hendry added: “I know what I’m capable of, where I should be and what level I should be playing at. If you’re not getting a game at Saints and another SPL team comes in for you, it shows someone else has got faith in you.

Callum Hendry heads in Aberdeen’s first goal in seven games.

“I was delighted when Derek (McInnes) got in touch but I just wanted to start playing football again. Saints have been playing well but I just want to concentrate on myself and Aberdeen, as that’s my team at the minute.

“Dad looks after me and he was getting phone calls. There was people coming in but that’s just football. You do have to be selfish but every footballer will say the same thing. It’s your career – you have to take it by the scruff of the neck.”

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