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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin ‘delighted’ Willie Collum will referee must-win clash against Dundee

Willie Collum is set to referee Aberdeen's match against Dundee.
Willie Collum is set to referee Aberdeen's match against Dundee.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is ‘delighted’ Willie Collum will referee Saturday’s high stakes clash with Dundee.

Goodwin reckons the magnitude of the game demands an experienced referee like Collum, who will ‘get the big decisions right’.

The Dons boss was frustrated at the performance of rookie whistler Grant Irvine in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Livingston.

Irvine controversially failed to award a penalty or send off Livi keeper Max Stryjek for striking Vicente Besuijen in the face.

It was a costly oversight as Livingston went on to score and go 1-0 up a minute later.

The SFA subsequently issued Stryjek with a notice of complaint after reviewing the incident.

Livingston accepted the offer of a two-match ban for the keeper.

Referee Irvine has been downgraded for this weekend’s fixtures and will officiate the League One game between Dumbarton and Clyde.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin during the 2-1 loss to Livingston at Pittodrie.

Goodwin said: “Thankfully we have got one of the most experienced referees in the country coming up on Saturday in Willie Collum, so I am delighted with that.

“We have had a terrible run of luck with regards to big decisions going against us.

“I felt the young referee last weekend struggled with some of those big moments and the Stryjek moment being the key one.

“If Livingston had been down to 10 men for the large part of the game and we had had a penalty, which Fergie (Lewis Ferguson) very rarely misses, then we would have had ourselves in front.

“Hopefully Willie gets these big calls right this weekend.”

Max Stryjek (32) of Livingston clashes with Aberdeen’s Vicente Besuijen (10).

Collum criticised for Celtic decison

Collum came in for criticism for a decision at Pittodrie in February this year in Aberdeen’s 3-2 loss to league leaders Celtic.

Celtic’s winner was allowed to stand by Collum despite Liel Abada being offside. Abada blocked Aberdeen defender David Bates’ route to scorer Jota.

Collum has refereed four Dons games so far this season.

But he has not been the man in the middle for an Aberdeen match since the Reds’ 3-2 loss to Celtic in February.

Aberdeen’s players speak to referee Willie Collum at full-time after the 3-2 loss to Celtic in February.

Massive game for both clubs

Aberdeen will face a Dundee side rock bottom of the Premiership table and battling for their top-flight survival.

Goodwin is under no illusions about the enormity of the match for both sides.

The Dons are also scrapping to avoid being dragged into a relegation play-off dogfight.

Goodwin’s side are just five points ahead of 11th-placed St Johnstone, who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot.

Jason Holt scores to make it 2-0 Livingston against Aberdeen.

Defeating Dundee would be a massive step towards killing off any play-off danger.

Goodwin reckons the outcome could come down to which side handles the pressure of the situation better.

He said: “It is a massive game for both clubs.

“Obviously Dundee are fighting for their lives as well.

“We know it will be a difficult game and that Mark McGhee will have the boys fired up.

“Going off their performance against St Johnstone (1-1) last week, Dundee certainly haven’t thrown in the towel as of yet.

“There is a hell of a lot to play for.

“There will be a good travelling support from Dundee, which will create a good atmosphere on the day.

“Then it is all about what team handles that situation better.”

Charlie Adam dead-ball danger

Managed by former Dons player and boss McGhee, the Dens Park side held Aberdeen to a 2-2 draw earlier this month in the City of Discovery.

Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam came off the bench to set up both goals for Dundee from free-kicks.

Goodwin has put his side on red alert about the dead-ball danger of veteran Adam.

He said: “We played them a few weeks ago and we should have won the game.

“We conceded from two free-kicks, two very good deliveries from Charlie Adam.

“However, we should have defended both situations better.

“So we will hopefully better prepared this time around for that kind of scenario.

“I thought we played particularly well at Dens last time around.

“We should have been three or four goals up before Dundee scored.

“I feel we are well equipped to give a good account of ourselves.”

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