The pain of Aberdeen’s last meeting with Motherwell remains fresh in the memory of Dons midfielder Ryan Jack.
Back in May, on the last day of the season, Craig Reid’s controversial injury-time winner for the Steelmen at Pittodrie secured second place for the Lanarkshire outfit – at the expense of the hosts.
The Dons felt goalkeeper Jamie Langfield had been fouled in the build-up – but the goal stood and meant the Dons missed out on an extra £240,000 prize money and had to enter the Europa League qualifiers a round earlier than Stuart McCall’s men.
For Jack, it was a bitterly disappointing experience and one he does not want to repeat.
He said: “There’s not really a feeling that we have a score to settle as we can’t complain about what happened last season.
“We had other opportunities to get the points that would have given us second place but we didn’t take them. This is a new season and a totally different game and we are just looking to bounce back from the defeat by Hamilton Accies.
“We were all devastated after the last Motherwell game, especially when it came down to that decision and the manner we lost the goal. That killed us but there were other matches where we had thrown away leads and we never took the chance to have second place wrapped up before that last game.
“It’s a fresh campaign and that has to be put behind us now as there is nothing we can do about it. Coming so close to finishing second has just given us more determination for this season.”
Jack made an unexpected return from injury at last Friday’s match against Hamilton and the midfielder is delighted to be back playing.
The 22-year-old was stretchered off in last month’s 4-0 League Cup win against Livingston but the injury was not as bad as first feared.
He said: “It’s a relief to be back this quick as at the time the physios thought that I had maybe done my knee ligament.
“Luckily, when I got the scans back it was just a little tear in the ligament which meant getting back in a few weeks rather than months.
“I was delighted to get that news as the last thing anyone wants is a long spell on the sidelines and it’s good to be back playing again.
“I had started the season well so the last thing I needed was missing a lot of matches then having to start getting fit all over, so I’m pleased the worst didn’t happen.”