A new manager has brought a new role for Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson.
New Dons boss Stephen Glass is keen to give Ferguson licence to push forward and the decision has instantly paid off after Ferguson ended his months-long drought in front of goal.
The midfielder had to wait from October 25 to April 21 for goal number 10 of the season to arrive with his strike in the 1-1 draw with the Hoops finally taking him into double figures for the campaign.
The change in role has clearly paid off and Ferguson hopes to add to his tally in the final three games of the season, starting with the trip to Livingston today.
He said: “We are playing with two number eights, a holding midfielder and a number six.
“The two number eights have the licence to go hit the box and also drop in when needed into a deeper position and get on the ball.
“When the ball does go forward and into the wide areas I have the licence to go and hit the box and get on the end of as many crosses or chances that open up.
“I have been really enjoying it and having that licence to get in the box and hopefully get some more goals.
“That is what I want to do. I want to do score another couple of goals before the season has finished.”
Chances were at a premium as Aberdeen exited the Scottish Cup following a poor performance at Pittodrie last Sunday. Glass believes his side looked fatigued against United but Ferguson is not so sure.
He said: “Personally I didn’t feel it in the game. If the other boys were, I don’t know, but that is obviously the way the manager has seen it. I think having played 120 minutes against Livingston and then a really tough game against Celtic.
“For most of the second half against Celtic we were defending and it was kind of backs to the wall.
“We defended really well and it takes a lot out of you but if you go into a Scottish Cup quarter final and come out say we weren’t fit enough – that is not an excuse for us as players.
“We have to be ready for these types of games when they come around. Maybe it did play a part and that is the way the manager saw it.
“But for us as players that is not a good enough reason as we should be fit and ready to go into every game.”
Aberdeen’s cup exit leaves them with the immediate aim of securing European qualification today at Livingston. The Dons will play in the Conference League this summer if they avoid defeat at Livi while they still have a slim chance of catching Hibernian who are six points clear with three games remaining.
Ferguson said: “It is going to be a big ask if we were going to finish third.
“It is obviously still possible but we would need a lot of results to go our way. You just never know in football and you see strange things happening all the time.
“We just have to focus on ourselves, win our game and hopefully put a wee bit of pressure on Hibs and see how they handle it.
“To get that spot it is down to Hibs at the minute and it has been down to them for a while. They have handled it pretty well up until now.
“We just have to focus on ourselves, try to get maximum points in these last three games because that is what it is going to need.”
Aberdeen’s pursuit may end up being a forlorn one but Ferguson believes it is crucial his club finishes the season with some momentum.
He said: “It is important as it has been a difficult season for everybody.
“I thought we started the season really well but it took a big dip and we hit a bad patch that was really hard to come out of.
“It has been a really difficult season but we can make it end on a high by getting maximum points.
“You don’t want to end the season going through a difficult spell because it might just linger and hang with you over the summer.
“You want to go out on a high, with a smile on your face and itching to get back for the new season.”