Pittodrie or Parkhead, the expectations remain same
Loan midfielder Christie happy to carry weight of supporter pressure
Dons midfielder Ryan Christie believes the expectation to win every match is just the same at Aberdeen as it is at parent club Celtic.
The 22-year-old, who returned to Pittodrie for a second loan spell in the summer, has been one of the standout performers for Derek McInnes’ side so far this season.
The Dons are level on points with leaders Celtic at the top of the table after taking 13 points from a possible 15 in the opening five fixtures and take on struggling Kilmarnock at Pittodrie today.
Despite the financial advantages enjoyed by the Hoops over every other team in Scotland’s top flight, Christie feels the Dons players are under the same pressure to win every game and said: “I wouldn’t say there are any differences. It’s similar in terms of the expectations to win here. That’s no different, especially at home.
“Any game we go into, no matter who we’re playing, of course we want to win, but there’s an expectation to win as well.
“It’s great for players like me to learn and play in that environment as I think it brings everybody on and improves your game on a Saturday.
“Being on loan, it gives me that experience which is the same at Celtic of the expectation to win week in week out. We have that attitude here.
“When I decided to come back here, that was one of the factors.
“Aberdeen are a club that push themselves so much and they’re always on the up.
“It’s great club to be a part of and the attitude is correct for me to come in and learn and hopefully get experience in a club that always wants to be successful.”
Christie, who is under contract at Parkhead until the summer of 2019, says the Hoops have been monitoring his progress at Pittodrie closely.
He said: “They’ve been in touch a few times.
“After the European games they were in touch to say well done, which was good because I wanted European experience as well. It’s good when they check in. It gives me that feeling that they’re still watching me and seeing how I’m doing. It’s still up to me to play well when they are watching.”
The former Caley Thistle player, meanwhile, does not expect the Hoops to suffer a prolonged Champions League hangover following their midweek drubbing by Paris St Germain.
Brendan Rodgers’ team will look to return to win- ning ways after their 5-0 loss to the big-spending French side when they host Ross County today.
Christie added: “The reality is that Celtic have so many good players and such a big squad that it doesn’t come into it.
“They’ll be looking to bounce back and make sure they don’t slip.
“It comes down to having a big squad and they look after themselves well. They’re all athletes at that club, that’s for sure. They’ll go into the weekend having forgotten about midweek.” Highland League club Wick Academy will announce their new manager this weekend – but Davie Kirkwood is not set for a return to Harmsworth Park.
The 50-year-old, who was Wick manager from 2011 to 2012 before moving to Brora Rangers, had been linked with the vacant position following Gordon Connelly’s departure last month.
But Kirkwood did not apply for the position and chairman James Innes said: “We hope to make an announcement this weekend.” Wayne Rooney will be welcomed when he returns to Old Trafford tomorrow, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
England’s record goalscorer left United to return to boyhood club Everton this summer after 13 successful years with the Red Devils.
He returns to the club where he scored a record 253 goals in 559 appearances.
Mourinho expects the Old Trafford faithful to show the 31-year-old the appreciation he deserves. A worried Everton manager Ronald Koeman will hold a meeting with his players and will urge experienced players such as Wayne Rooney to drag them out of their rut.
The Toffees have lost three games in a row, the most recent of which was Thursday’s 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League when Koeman publicly put the onus on himself.
Koeman said: “I think it’s the time for the experienced players to stand up. I’m worried with what I saw on Thursday.”