Aberdeen: Has Jim Goodwin restored Dons as Scotland’s third force?

Aberdeen coach Jim Goodwin celebrates
Jim Goodwin was a happy man after Saturday’s win for Motherwell

Three points, three wins in one week and third in the Scottish Premiership for Aberdeen.

Are we starting to see the resurgence of Club Pittodrie, now under manager Jim Goodwin, as the third force in Scottish football?

Of course, it’s too early to make such bold statements.

However, signs are increasingly encouraging that they are destined to challenge at the top tier of the table, where they certainly should be.

The fact is that Aberdeen are in a League Cup semi-final and have climbed the table to a high position at a convenient time.

It’s where you would normally expect Aberdeen to be. consistently.

“I think it’s starting to fall into place, but we have to be careful not to get too far ahead because we know what this league is like,” Goodwin told BBC Scotland.

“You can be brought back to earth very, very quickly if you’re not careful.

He is right about that and was the first to admit that the victory over Motherwell was far from straightforward. But the victory they made in a place where they have been found repeatedly in recent times.

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To do that, they had to dig deep, show resilience from the back, and be clinical when necessary. Pass marks on all fronts.

Aberdeen travel to Ibrox next weekend in confidence, with Rangers struggling in earnest and home fans increasingly on their backs.

Notably, the Dons could be just four points behind their Glasgow hosts with a win.

Teaming up squad review

Bojan Miovski and Luis Lopes of Aberdeen celebrate at Fir Park
Summer signings Bojan Miovski and Luis Lopes combined to help Aberdeen win at Fir Park

There was a cast review on Pittodrie.

Only two players who started against Rangers on their last visit to Ibrox in March started against Motherwell.

Those two were Ross McCrorie and Connor Barron, the young midfielder who was given new terms to extend the two years left on his contract, with several clubs credited with taking an interest in awarding him.

“It’s 12 new faces we brought in over the summer, all still trying to get along and a different manager also in me who is asking them to do things differently,” Goodwin said.

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“I don’t think we’ve reached our full potential yet.”

As the large contingent of fans exuberantly celebrated a rare away win against Motherwell, you got the sense that belief is returning and the connection between the manager, new squad and support is growing.

Miovski and Duk double act

The platform for victory over Motherwell was an exquisite moment for Bojan Miovski.

The Macedonian striker, signed from MTK Budapest, showed remarkable composure to execute a fantastic lob in the race and is proving to be a shrewd acquisition, with eight league goals in 11 games.

“He’s more than just scoring goals.” your manager said.

“His overall game is of a different class. His movement, he knows when to make room for others, he makes great moves without the ball.”

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The value of a prolific striker is well known, but he needs support and looks like he’s going to get it. This is critical for Aberdeen.

Luis Lopes, a former Benfica striker known as Duk, also bounced back, scoring four goals in his last six Premiership games, including Saturday’s clinical goal when Aberdeen were being tested.

“He was impressive,” former Scotland manager Shelley Kerr told Sportscene.

“His move was good, he plays on the back shoulder. I like this move of a striker as it is very difficult to defend.

“His work pace is also good. His header is a great header.”

With Miovski and Duk sacked, supported by the impressive Barron and a renewed strength of late, it’s a potent mix if Aberdeen are to sustain their recovery in the fortunes.

“Let’s not get carried away,” Goodwin emphasized.

No one is, but they will enter Ibrox next weekend with a growing sense that they are on the right track.

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