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Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor puts new deal talks on hold to focus on top-three push

Aberdeen's Ash Taylor competes with Christian Doidge during the Scottish Premiership match against Hibernian.
Aberdeen's Ash Taylor competes with Christian Doidge during the Scottish Premiership match against Hibernian.

Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor is happy to put talk of a new contract to one side and focus fully on his team’s push for a top-three finish.

The Dons head to Celtic Park today looking to build on last weekend’s much-needed 1-0 home win against Kilmarnock.

Callum Hendry’s winner ended a dire run of six games without a goal and reignited hopes the Dons can pip Hibernian in the race to finish third in the Scottish Premiership.

Taylor returned to the Dons for a second spell at Pittodrie in June 2019, but is now entering the final months of his two-year contract.

Some impressive recent displays will have boosted his chances of earning a new deal and, with so much at stake over the closing stretch of the campaign, Taylor is content to leave talks until further down the line.

He said: “The gaffer and I have a good relationship.

“When that conversation happens it happens.

“I am just concentrating on the football.  We are at the business end of the season and we just need to focus on winning games and get results for Aberdeen.

“The gaffer and I get on well, so we will have that conversation when the time is right.

“I know if I take care of myself and my performances are up there then things will take care of itself.

“I just need to concentrate on doing well for Aberdeen and trying to help the team get that third place.”

Taylor admitted it was a relief to end the club’s wait for a victory by defeating Kilmarnock last Saturday.

A sterner test awaits against Celtic at Parkhead this afternoon, but the Dons defender believes the mood in the Dons camp has been lifted by the win.

He said: “It was good to see the ball hit the back of the net. It was very pleasing to get the monkey off our back.

“The win was also important and it was a three points that we need at this stage of the season.

“Every game between now until the end of the season, it’s all about results, not so much about performance.

“As long as you get it over the line and get those three points, that’s the most important thing.”

Taylor does not expect any lingering hangover from Celtic following last week’s 1-0 defeat at Ross County, which prompted the resignation of manager Neil Lennon on Wednesday morning.

Ash Taylor (centre) scores against St Johnstone.

He said: “They’re still a good side, they’ve got good players and we know they’re a threat.

“When they turn up, they’re a very good side.

“We’re well aware of their threat.

“We need to know what we’re doing in terms of getting at their weaknesses.

“It is always a tough game against Celtic, we know that.

“We know what’s to come.

“We need to put in a winning performance.

“It’s the business end of the season and we need the points.”

The Dons travel to Parkhead without on-loan Reims striker Fraser Hornby, who suffered a thigh injury in last week’s win against Killie and could be sidelined for up to eight weeks.

But Taylor has been impressed with the club’s other two new attacking additions – Florian Kamberi and Hendry – and believes they possess enough firepower to down the Hoops in what will be their second meeting of the month following the recent 1-0 defeat at Parkhead.

Callum Hendry is congratulated after his first Aberdeen goal.

He said: “Callum is a good lad and has fitted in really well.

“I’m just glad he’s made an impact and one of the strikers got off the mark.

“It’s all strikers want to do. They want to get off the mark quickly and he’s done that.

“It’s pleasing for us and pleasing for him.

“I like Florian. I’ve played against him and he’s a handful.

“It’s nice to have him on our side now.

“The goals will come for him and hopefully sooner rather than later.

“His performances have been influential in getting us up the pitch and looking after the ball.

“He’s been fantastic and he’s had a really good start.”

Taylor added: “We can take a lot of confidence from our second half against Celtic as well as the win over Kilmarnock.

“We’re going into Saturday’s game with a bit of confidence and looking to get the three points we need.”

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