Dons at head of matters
AFC: Defender Arnason says international break must not dampen feel-good factor
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