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Dangerous Goodwillie a far better footballer than people give him credit for, says Flood

IF David Goodwillie were suffering from a lack of confidence following his less than spectacular spell south of the border, he could do worse than turn to Willo Flood, once a team-mate at Dundee United and now also in Aberdeen dressing room, for comfort.

Flood need cast his mind back five years when Celtic, impressed by his energy in United's midfield, enticed him to Parkhead only to offer him a half-dozen games in a season that brought rejection, despite a two-and-a-half year contract in his pocket.

Goodwillie's £2m transfer from Tannadice to Blackburn Rovers three years ago when the then manager, Steve Kean, likened him to "a young Wayne Rooney" spelled disaster and even a return to United on loan last season offered him only the occasional cameo.

Tonight, however, he may be given the opportunity to show that the decision by Derek McInnes, the Aberdeen manager, to provide him with a platform for his talents, is an excellent piece of business. They face the Dutch side, Groningen, in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round at Pittodrie.

"He was good to play with when we were both at Tannadice during my first stint there," Flood insisted, "and he is a better footballer than people give him credit for. He controls games well and that's what the manager likes about him. A confident David Goodwillie will bring a lot to his team.

"I was speaking to the manager earlier saying I hadn't seen Goodie play for a while but even in training he looks hungry and sharp. He has a point to prove and that spells danger for any side in the Scottish Premiership coming up against him.

"People thought I was going to go to Celtic and play, and I didn't so I know how he will be feeling. He has come here showing a lot of drive and he is here to prove people wrong.

"It didn't work out for him at Dundee United second time around but that's because of Nadir Ciftci doing well. The team went on a good run when he was out of the team and that made it difficult for Jackie McNamara [the Dundee United manager] to bring him back in.

"The only thing players lose in football is confidence and if a player gets it back they can get back to where they were or make them even better. The only way to get confidence back is to keep working hard and believe in yourself."

McInnes insisted that Groningen, like all the sides in the Eredivisie, will have been boosted by the great performances by the Netherlands in the Brazil World Cup. "Anytime a national side does well, as Holland did in the World Cup, it offers a kickback domestically," said McInnes.

"They play a similar system to us. They are very good at it. They have pace and dependable players and they are what you would expect from a typical Dutch side, settled in how they want to play and with players who can hurt you. It's a big test for us but we are a good side and we go into the game with the confidence that we can work hard and show we are good enough to get through the tie."

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