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Aberdeen interim boss Peter Leven urges Dons to sign up Junior Hoilett

Dons interim manager hopes Canadian international will stay at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen interim boss Peter Leven during the 5-1 win over Livingston. Image: SNS
Aberdeen interim boss Peter Leven during the 5-1 win over Livingston. Image: SNS

Aberdeen interim manager Peter Leven has urged the Dons to sign Junior Hoilett up to a new deal.

The Canadian international capped a man-of-the-match display as he scored two and set-up another as the Dons ended their home campaign on a high with a 5-1 victory against Livingston.

Hoilett, who was signed by previous interim boss Neil Warnock, is out of contract in the summer and a decision on his future lies with incoming manager Jimmy Thelin.

Leven is in no doubt the winger would be a valuable addition to Thelin’s squad next season.

The interim manager said: “He’s a great player. What a professional, I’ve said that to the club. Listen, I would love to keep him here but it’s up to the next manager.

“I’ve said to the club numerous times. You can see his quality. Tonight and last week, the semi-final, he was different class. I could name loads of games.

“He is one of those players who creates chances and his free kick was great as well.”

Leven delighted with attacking quality

Fletcher Boyd celebrates making it 5-1 against Livingston. Image: SNS

An outstanding attacking display from the Dons brought five goals but it could easily have been more in what was a one-sided encounter at Pittodrie.

Leven was thrilled to see Dante Polvara, Fletcher Boyd and Graeme Shinnie also get on the scoresheet in what was a fine display in their final home game of the campaign.

He said: “We missed a lot of chances in the first half and we said at half-time we need to take our chances.

“Livi came out and got their penalty but I told them not to panic and we were clinical in the end.

“It wasn’t just the goal, it was the awareness to let the ball run through his legs and take the shot early.

“Fletcher is a top player but he just need to keep growing and getting better every game.”

“I’ve worked with Dante about manipulating the ball and using his body well and he took his goal well.”

Fans hail Hayes and Leven

Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie gives Jonny Hayes the armband during the win against Livingston. Image: SNS.

Dons veteran Jonny Hayes was given a guard of honour by his team-mates on what is expected to be his final appearance at Pittodrie.

Leven said: “It was amazing. We don’t know what Jonny is going to do but if it is the end he got the send-off he would have wanted.

“He has been a great professional over his career and he’s a great person.

“It’s up to Jonny and the club to discuss but he is also a very good coach.”

Leven’s contribution to reviving the Dons’ fortunes was also recognised as fans sang his name at the end of the match for the second game in a row.

The interim boss, who will be part of Thelin’s coaching staff next season, was grateful for the support.

He said: “There’s only one Peter Leven but I’m sure my dad will tell you there are two.

“It was lovely, I heard it a little bit last week too. The fans have been great since I took over so thanks to them for that.”

Martindale brands his Livingston side naive

While Leven had much to smile about there was precious little for visiting manager Davie Martindale.

Livi will be playing Championship football next season and Martindale believes his side’s display summed up their campaign.

He said: “There’s not much you can do when he bends the free kick over the wall. The second one was so naïve and the third is even worse, it’s so naive it’s incredible.

“Then we lose another two from open play. It’s been the story of our season.

“At points it was embarrassing and from my point of view it hurts.”

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