Dons at head of mat­ters

AFC: De­fender Ar­na­son says in­ter­na­tional break must not dampen feel-good fac­tor

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE - BY PAUL THIRD

Aberdeen de­fender Kari Ar­na­son hopes the in­ter­na­tional break is not com­ing at the wrong time for the Dons af­ter they moved level with Celtic at the top of the Premier­ship.

Aberdeen de­fender Kari Ar­na­son hopes the in­ter­na­tional break is not com­ing at the wrong time for his side af­ter the Dons moved level with lead­ers Celtic at the top of the Scot­tish Premier­ship.

Adam Rooney’s hat-trick gave the Dons a 3-0 win against St John­stone at Pit­to­drie on Satur­day, tak­ing his tally for the club to 81 goals in 162 ap­pear­ances.

The Dons have amassed 20 points from a pos­si­ble 24 and re­main un­beaten in the Premier­ship. They are also six points clear of third-placed Rangers as they head into the in­ter­na­tional break.

Ar­na­son said: “The break could come at a bad time. This was a great team per­for­mance and I thought we did well. We re­stricted them and were pos­i­tive.

“We can’t let Celtic get a lead like they did last sea­son and if they keep drop­ping points we have to show up and make sure we take all three points in our games.”

Ar­na­son will be on World Cup qual­i­fy­ing duty with Ice­land this week but no Dons will be in Gor­don Stra­chan’s squad for the dou­ble-header against Slo­vakia and Slove­nia.

Stra­chan has called up Celtic mid­fielder Cal­lum McGre­gor fol­low­ing his two goals for the Hoops in Satur­day’s 2-2 draw with Hibs af­ter Celtic duo Scott Brown and Stu­art Arm­strong were ruled out due to in­jury and Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie with­drew, and Ar­na­son be­lieves some of his team-mates are also de­serv­ing of recog­ni­tion.

He said: “Graeme Shin­nie and Kenny McLean are both ca­pa­ble play­ers at in­ter­na­tional level and I don’t un­der­stand why they are not in­volved. It’s nat­u­ral for the Scot­land man­ager to look to­wards the Celtic play­ers but they have def­i­nitely got a chance. It would frus­trate me if I was knock­ing on the door.

“Shin­nie can play any­where and is a great util­ity player and mid­fielder. He is a fan­tas­tic cap­tain, too, and is do­ing well.

“Ste­vie May is a goalscorer and a great fin­isher. He works his socks off and I don’t see why he can’t be in­volved ei­ther.”

One man who will be on in­ter­na­tional duty is Ar­na­son’s de­fen­sive part­ner Scott McKenna, who will be with the Scot­tish un­der-21s.

Ar­na­son has been hugely im­pressed by the 20-yearold so far and said: “He is a fan­tas­tic young player and I can’t praise him enough. The sky’s the limit for him.”

“We can’t let Celtic get a lead like they did last sea­son”

WANT TO SEE A TRICK? Adam Rooney with the match ball af­ter his tre­ble against St John­stone on Satur­day

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