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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin targets six-figure SPFL prize payment boost

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin will rebuild an underperforming squad in the summer transfer window.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin will rebuild an underperforming squad in the summer transfer window.

Boss Jim Goodwin has challenged Aberdeen to land a £120,000 cash boost by finishing seventh in the Premiership.

The Dons will finish the Premiership campaign in the bottom six for the first time since 2013.

Goodwin aims to lead the Reds to a highest-possible seventh-placed finish to end a dismal season with some positivity.

However, he also wants to deliver a six-figure cash boost to the club’s coffers.

Aberdeen currently sit ninth in the Premiership, which will land an SPFL prize payment of £1.31million.

Finishing seventh would secure £1.43m, an increase of £120,000.

Aberdeen begin their bottom six fixtures with a home clash against eighth-placed Livingston on Saturday.

Goodwin said: “I still think there’s a hell of a lot to play for.

“Restoring some pride, initially, is certainly something worth playing for.

“Also every place in this league has prize money attached to it.

“So we want to finish as high as possible and earn the club some money back if we can finish in seventh place.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin has challenged his squad to finish the season on a positive note.

The financial cost of a failed season

Aberdeen’s failure to qualify for the top six will deliver a costly financial blow to the club.

The Reds will also miss out on European qualification and the UEFA prize money.

This season Aberdeen were eliminated from the Europa Conference League at the play-off stages by Qarabag of Kazakhstan.

That brought a UEFA prize payment of  €750,000 (£629,000).

Finances were boosted further by gate receipts from three European home games at Pittodrie during that run.

Aberdeen’s Funso Ojo, Vicente Besuijen, Connor McLennan and Declan Gallagher (L-R) look dejected after the loss to Ross County.

Failure to reach the top six also means the Reds are not clear of the threat of being dragged into a relegation play-off battle.

St Johnstone, currently 11th, occupy that play-off berth and trail the Dons by six points.

Goodwin’s focus is on seventh, but he has warned his squad must not ignore the relegation play-off danger.

Seventh position will bring no joy

If Aberdeen secure a seventh-placed finish to restore a semblance of pride and an extra £120,000, Goodwin insists there will be no celebrations.

How could there be? The season has been an unmitigated failure.

He said: “Our focus needs to be on finishing seventh.

“Albeit, we will not celebrate that at the end of the season because it has been a real disappointing campaign.

Aberdeen’s Declan Gallagher (r) looks dejected at full time as bottom six football is confirmed.

“Our short-term objective now is to try to win the next five games and restore pride.”

‘There’s no anxiety or nervousness’

Aberdeen had the opportunity to secure top six action in the final match prior to the Premiership split.

A win against Ross County at Pittodrie would have been enough to secure a top six finish and retain hopes of European qualification.

They lost 1-0 and were booed off the pitch by frustrated Aberdeen supporters at full-time.

Goodwin insists his players are not feeling the pressure to prevent a dismal season becoming worse.

He said: “There is no anxiety or nervousness.

“Myself and my staff have been encouraging the boys to try and have that self belief.

“When you are in the position that we are in, yes they might not be as confident as we would like them to be. However, at the same time, they still have to have a positive mindset going into the game.”

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie after missing a good chance to go ahead in the 1-0 loss to Ross County.

Every player ‘giving their all’

Goodwin is set to oversee a squad rebuild during the summer transfer window.

He has already informed the players with no future at Pittodrie they will be exiting the club at the end of the season.

Despite the financial hit of failing to qualify for the top six, Goodwin confirmed he has been given a ‘very competitive’ budget for his summer rebuild.

Aberdeen’s recruitment team are scouring Europe for summer signing targets.

Head of Recruitment Darren Mowbray has recently travelled to Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia in the hunt for signings.

Despite the need for an imminent rebuild, Goodwin insists he cannot fault the attitude, nor work-rate of his squad.

Goodwin said: “The players, in terms of their attitude and application in training, have been very, very good.

“There is nobody that I could point the finger at and say they are not giving their all for the jersey.

“On a few occasions, we have just had to hold our hands up and say we weren’t good enough.

“Of the three defeats since I came in, I don’t think we can argue about the Rangers (1-0 loss) or the Hearts (2-0 loss) results.

“We were very poor against Hearts and going to Ibrox on any given day is always going to be difficult.

“We lost a sloppy goal on that occasion.

“Against Ross County, we had enough chances to win the game and dominated possession with 14 attempts on goal.

“The fact of the matter is only a couple of them were on target.”

Jim Goodwin following Aberdeen’s 1-0 defeat at Ibrox.

Attacking edge needed in bottom six

Aberdeen lost to Ross County via a late controversial penalty for hand-ball.

Although the  Reds had 14 shots at goal, only two were on target.

Goodwin reckons rediscovering an edge in attack will be key to finishing the season positively.

Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez (9) looks dejected during the 1-0 loss to Ross County before the split.

He said: “We know that we are doing a lot of things okay in terms of back to middle.

“At the top end of the pitch, where the games are won, is where we need to do better.

“Those are the types of things that we are working on at the moment.

“I can’t fault the players.

“Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit we have not been good enough and I think that’s the case.”

Adam Montgomery returns to action

Winger Matty Kennedy and midfielder Dylan McGeouch will both miss the game against Livingston due to injury.

On-loan Celtic left-back Adam Montgomery, 19, is in contention, having returned to training.

Livingston’s Christian Montano tackles Aberdeen’s Adam Montgomery on his debut.

Montgomery had been ruled out for seven weeks with a hamstring injury.

Goodwin said: “You know what you are going to get get with Livingston in terms of their commitment and effort.

“Livingston have got some very good footballers that can cause us some problems.

“We have to give them the utmost respect. We will be favourites to win the game and we need to accept that.”

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