Cooper sees sil­ver lin­ing

Gothen­burg Great fan­cies Dons to pick up a tro­phy this sea­son

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANNY LAW

Gothen­burg great Neale Cooper is op­ti­mistic Aberdeen can go one bet­ter this sea­son by cap­tur­ing some sil­ver­ware.

Gothen­burg Great Neale Cooper is op­ti­mistic Aberdeen can go one bet­ter this sea­son by win­ning sil­ver­ware.

The Dons will look to bounce back from their stale­mate with Hearts by de­feat­ing Kil­marnock at Pit­to­drie this week­end ahead of a hugely im­por­tant match next week.

Derek McInnes’ Reds, who fin­ished sec­ond to Celtic in all three do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions last sea­son, travel to Mother­well next Thurs­day with a place in the semi-fi­nals of the League Cup at stake.

For­mer Dons mid­fielder Cooper, 53, be­lieves this year’s team is ca­pa­ble of claim­ing a tro­phy this time around.

He said: “They were so close to a tro­phy last year and I hope they can do it this time. Celtic are very strong and they have ex­tra money to spend af­ter reach­ing the Cham­pi­ons League group stages.

“They pos­sess so much strength and depth and they still have Moussa Dem­bele, one of their best play­ers last sea­son, to re­turn from in­jury.

“We all know it will be very dif­fi­cult but Aberdeen just have to keep putting pres­sure on them by win­ning games. I think they have enough qual­ity to win some­thing this sea­son.

“Next week’s match against Mother­well is hugely im­por­tant in the con­text of the sea­son.

“It is strange that you can reach a semi-fi­nal by win­ning only two games but that is the way it is.

“Win at Fir Park and they are only 90 min­utes away from an­other fi­nal.

“They will want a good re­sult this week­end against Kil­marnock to make sure they head to Mother­well in fine fet­tle. I ex­pect them to do that.”

Cooper ad­mit­ted he feared the worst when sev- eral key play­ers de­parted Pit­to­drie in the sum­mer.

But the for­mer Ross County, Peter­head and Hartle­pool United man­ager has been im­pressed with the re­place­ments signed by McInnes.

He added: “I was con­cerned when they lost Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes but the new play­ers look the part.

“They seem to be a strong group and get­ting Ste­vie May was a mas­sive sign­ing. He is a very good player.

“Is this squad bet­ter than last sea­son? It is too early to tell.

“Any team would miss Jonny Hayes, while Niall McGinn and Ryan Jack were both good ser­vants.

“They have brought in some good play­ers who have done well so far.

“Hope­fully, they can win some­thing this sea­son.”

“So close to a tro­phy last year and I hope they do it this time”

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: Neale Cooper is look­ing for more great mo­ments from Dons new at­tacker Ste­vie May

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