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New Dons boss Jim Goodwin wants to repay warm welcome at Aberdeen

Dons boss Jim Goodwin
Dons boss Jim Goodwin

He is only two weeks into his new job but Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin insists the transition from St Mirren to the Dons has been seamless.

It has been a tough start for the new Dons boss with his side recording two draws and suffering two defeats since his move from Paisley.

But the new manager says the warm welcome for both himself and assistant Lee Sharp, and the support given to them by the staff, has not been taken granted.

Goodwin said: “I have to say the staff I have inherited up here have been nothing short of brilliant.

“Even outwith the backroom staff and the playing side of things the actual staff around the place around the training ground and Pittodrie.

“It made the transition very easy and straight forward.

“It allowed me just to focus on football while they took care of all the off-field matters which has been brilliant.

“I am very lucky there is no getting away from that.

“We have settled in well.”

Trusted lieutenant Sharp remains by Goodwin’s side at Aberdeen

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and assistant Lee Sharp took charge at Motherwell last month

When the Dons came calling for his services from Saints there was never any doubt in Goodwin’s mind that he wanted his assistant Sharp to join him in a new challenge at Pittodrie.

Sharp has been by Goodwin’s side throughout his managerial career and he is delighted to keep it that way at Pittodrie.

The Aberdeen manager said: “Lee has been a big part of my backroom team since I first took the job at Alloa.

“We have built up a really good working relationship.

“He has a really good understanding of what I look for from a number two. The key word there is trust and loyalty.

“That is something that I know I have got with him.”

Free weekend offers a chance to work with the players

Aberdeen’s Scottish Cup exit at Motherwell last month – in former Dons boss Stephen Glass’ final match in charge – means Goodwin and his players will not be in action this weekend.

But Goodwin plans on making the most of the free time as he looks to get his ideas across to his new players in the next two weeks.

He said: “It will be very beneficial to get some real good times on the training pitch with the players as the midweek games are difficult.

“You are recovering and trying to prepare to go again without a lot of time.

“Now with the break we can work with them on the grass to get them a little bit sharper and fitter if possible.

“It also means I can get that tactical stuff through to them as well with no pressure of a game at the end of it.

“We can spend a lot of time together and that is the plan.”

Europe still the aim but first priority is top six spot

Following Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Ibrox the Dons are in 10th place in the Premiership, four points adrift of a top six place.

Goodwin insists securing European football remains the aim but with only three games left before the split the immediate priority is to ensure the Dons pick up enough points to ensure they are in the hunt for a European spot in April.

He said: “We are still short of the European places which is what we are aiming for and we know we have to put points on the board.

“We know we have to finish the season strongly to achieve that but you can see there is not a great deal between ourselves and fourth place. But we need to start winning games.

“I’m getting a little more time to myself in the afternoon and being able to focus on making sure we focus on getting things right on the pitch.

“We are now back to some kind of normality where we are working towards the weekend as opposed to the midweek fixtures that we have had to endure.”

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