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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin confident Matty Kennedy will rediscover top form next season

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and Matty Kennedy during the 1-1 draw with Dundee United.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and Matty Kennedy during the 1-1 draw with Dundee United.

After a campaign wrecked by injury, Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin is confident Matty Kennedy will reproduce his top form next season.

Winger Kennedy endured a nightmare 2021-22 campaign derailed by a back problem.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with two stress fractures in his back at the start of the season.

Kennedy missed the first half of the campaign and did not feature until coming on as a substitute in a 1-0 loss at St Mirren on January 25.

He played a further seven games, three of them starts, before suffering a recurrence of the back injury in a 2-0 loss at Hearts in March.

Kennedy returned to feature as a substitute in the remaining two games of the season.

Goodwin is confident the Northern Ireland international’s injury problems are now over.

And he is backing him to recreate his top form next season.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy in action against Dundee United in February this year.

Goodwin said: “Matty had a torrid time with injury but worked really well with the new physio.

“We are glad to say that seems to be behind him now.

“Hopefully we will get Matty back to his best, like he was at St Johnstone.

“Matty is a good player and will be for Aberdeen if we get him 100 per cent fit.”

Matty Kennedy and Vicente Besuijen celebrate Aberdeen’s goal against Dundee United.

Finishing the season positively

Signed in January 2020 from St Johnstone, Kennedy made 39 appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

Kennedy started three games in Goodwin’s first month as Aberdeen manager following his appointment to the Pittodrie hotseat in mid February.

However he was forced off injured after 54 minutes in the 2-0 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle on March 2.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy gets treatment against Hearts.

The winger returned to action as a substitute in the penultimate game of the season, a 1-0 loss at St Johnstone.

Kennedy also featured off the bench in the goalless stalemate with St Mirren, the final game of the campaign.

The Northern Ireland cap recently confirmed he will return to Pittodrie from the summer break early to do extra work with the medical team.

That is to ensure he is ready to go for pre-season and to make an impact in the new campaign.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin, right.
Aberdeen winger Matty Kennedy comes off injured in the 2-0 loss at Hearts in March.

Goodwin said: “I’m delighted that Kevin Bain, the new Head of Medicine here at the club, has managed to get some confidence back into Matty.

“Basically to reassure him that everything is okay now.

“That he could crack on and finish the season in as positive a manner as possible.”

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy in action against Celtic in February 2022.

Previous attempts to sign Kennedy

Goodwin is a long time admirer of Kennedy and tried to sign him for St Mirren whist boss of the Paisley club in January 2020.

However St Mirren lost out to the superior spending power of the Dons.

Goodwin was also keen on taking Kennedy in on loan whilst at St Mirren but the move never happened.

With Kennedy’s injury problems now behind him Goodwin is relishing the opportunity of getting the best out of the winger.

Kennedy is contracted to the Dons until summer 2023.

Aberdeen’s Matty Kennedy after the 1-0 loss at St Johnstone earlier this month.

Goodwin said: “I tried to get him on numerous occasions.

“When he left St Johnstone we made him an offer.

“Then last January we tried to get him in on loan as well.

“The deal was almost done but because of the situation with Matty, the injuries and what have you, we decided not to go through with it at that particular moment in time.”

 

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