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Nicky Devlin: Bojan Miovski revelling in being Aberdeen’s main man

Defender is not surprised to see in-form striker is catching the eye after scoring his 16th goal of the season for the Dons.

Nicky Devlin, left, with team-mate Bojan Miovski. Image: SNS
Nicky Devlin, left, with team-mate Bojan Miovski. Image: SNS

Aberdeen defender Nicky Devlin believes Bojan Miovski is revelling in the responsibility of leading the line at Pittodrie.

The North Macedonian international scored the opening goal in his side’s 2-0 win at Clyde in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Friday.

His strike took his tally for the season to 16, two short of the 18-goal tally he reached in his first campaign in Scottish football last term.

Devlin insists Miovski has taken his game to another level this season.

He said: “I’ll whisper it until the end of January, mind you, but he’s a top, top player.

“For me, the first I really noticed it was in the European games because he was one of the players who didn’t look out of place at all no matter who we were playing against.

“That’s testament to him and he’s become the main striker for his national team now.

“So I definitely think he’s kicked on again this season.

“Last year he was good as well, but he’s taken it to a new level this year.

“He likes being the main man, that’s a striker’s thing and it’s no bad thing because he works so hard.”

Miovski linked with January move away from the Dons

Nicky Delvin celebrates scoring to make it 2-0 during a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup fourth round match at Clyde on Friday. Image: SNS

Miovski’s form for the Dons has led to him being linked with moves away from Pittodrie this season.

Celtic have reportedly been keeping tabs on the Dons striker while there has also been links with Italy.

Devlin is not surprised Miovski is a man in demand.

He said: “Bojan is a top player and top players are always going to have people talking about them.

“There will always be links to other clubs and that will be for the club and Bojan to deal with.

“As long as he’s here and scoring goals for us we’ll be in a good place.

“It was a brilliant finish by him on Friday night and that’s what we’ve come to expect from him.

“He doesn’t need great chances to score goals.

“We probably haven’t supplied him with enough out-and-out chances this season and he’s still banged in 16 goals.

“His stats in terms of running and sprinting are as high as anyone in the team so it’s not a case of letting other people do the work while he gets the credit.

“He mucks in as much as anyone, which is brilliant for us.”

‘There was pressure on us’

Aberdeen’s Nicky Devlin scores to make it 2-0 against Clyde. Image: SNS.

Devlin, who scored his side’s second goal in their victory against the Bully Wee on Friday, was pleased to see his side progress to the fifth round with the minimum of fuss.

Clyde struck the post at 0-0 but it was a rare foray forward as the Dons controlled the game against their League Two opponents.

Having suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Darvel in the fourth round last season, putting the memory of that exit to bed was important.

Devlin said: “People looked at it thinking it was Aberdeen against the team bottom of League Two, so we should be winning it.

“But there was pressure on us, we knew that’s why we were picked for the Friday night game on the telly.

“They were here looking for a slip-up so we had to make sure they didn’t get one.

“It was all about getting the job done.

“We knew it would be difficult so we had to be professional and I thought we were that.

“There were large spells where we didn’t break Clyde down but we knew that would be the case.

“It can be hard to break teams down at times at any level.

“But when you have someone like Bojan in your team you know you might only need one or two chances to win the game.

“The aim was to get the job done and be in the next round, so we’re delighted we were able to do that.”

Dons focused on moving in European contention

Aberdeen’s Nicky Devlin is eager for more European football next season. Image: SNS

With cup progress assured the focus at Pittodrie now switches to league duty and the challenge of moving up the table.

Having enjoyed their Europa Conference League campaign this season the Dons are eager to secure a return to European football this season.

Aberdeen trail third-placed Hearts by 14 points but have played three games fewer than their rivals.

The first of those games in hand is at St Johnstone on Wednesday.

Devlin said: “Everyone who was involved in the group stages this year wants it again.

“We know we have a lot of work to do to achieve that and we have to make the games in hand count now.

“Having games in hand is only good if you win them, they’re no use if you don’t.

“We have noticed already this season that we’ve not capitalised on midweek games.

“So it’s all well and good saying we have games in hand but we have to make the most of them.

“We drew with St Johnstone earlier in the season, it was 0-0 and we didn’t perform well.

“They have picked up under their new manager so it’s going to be difficult. But we know we’ve got to win these games.”