ABERDEEN’S Anthony O’Connor has issued warnings to third-placed Rangers and the all-conquering Celtic that the Dons are looking for back to back league wins over their Glasgow rivals before the season ends.
And the big defender reckons that Celtic will have their work cut out for their unbeaten domestic run ahead of this Friday’s clash at Pittodrie.
O’Connor, speaking to RedTV after the 2-1 away victory to Hearts on Sunday, is aiming to see out the season with a series of wins to add to the victory at Tynecastle. The defender and stand in midfielder came off the bench in Edinburgh to score the winner with a second half header.
“The win was a massive step towards second spot,” said O’Connor. We are not mathematically there but with us nine points ahead and only nine points left to play for, and having the better goal difference, we are in a very strong position.
“Although people will be saying that it is done and dusted, that is not how the players and staff will be looking at it.
“We will be going into Friday night’s game with Celtic looking for a result, as we will be doing in the rest of the games,” stated O’Connor.
“Even if it was mathematically secure we would still be going into the remaining games trying to win them.”
Aberdeen’s game on Friday will be the final home game in front of the Pittodrie crowd and the support will be expecting a show.
“We can’t slacken off,” said O’Connor.
“I think it is important that we take some momentum from these last few league games into the Scottish Cup final. We want to keep the confidence in our game.”
Aberdeen and O’Connor will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 3-0 defeat to Celtic in their last trip to Hampden for silverware.
The teams met at Hampden in November for the Betfred Cup Final, where the Hoops steamrolled the Dons with two sublime first half goals from Tom Rogic and James Forrest before a Moussa Dembele penalty completed the scoring.
“If we were to step off it now just because we feel we have secured second, and lost a couple of games, confidence might be affected so we need to try and get more wins,” said O’Connor.
Aberdeen will be without their Young Player of the Year Ryan Christie for both Friday and the Scottish Cup Final as he won’t be able to play against his parent club.