Pit­to­drie or Park­head, the ex­pec­ta­tions re­main same

Loan mid­fielder Christie happy to carry weight of sup­porter pres­sure

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

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.”

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