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From big cup ties to the small matter of the table

Shaleum Logan is one of British football's growing band of nomadic players, flitting on loan from one club to the next and hoping that stability will arrive through the offer of a permanent contract.

Shaleum Logan is well aware of what the recent cup wins have meant to supporters. Picture: SNS
Shaleum Logan is well aware of what the recent cup wins have meant to supporters. Picture: SNS

The 26-year-old pitched up at Aberdeen on the last day of the January transfer window and had barely enough time to unpack before he was named in the side for a League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone. A win in that tie was followed last weekend by a stunning William Hill Scottish Cup triumph against Celtic last week.

Those were both occasions he has since described as "huge", while Logan has also been left in no doubt just what the cup wins have meant to the Aberdeen support.

"It probably hasn't sunk in with me just how big those results are for the club," he said, ahead of a less glamorous league match with St Mirren this afternoon. "I know it is massive for the Aberdeen fans, though. The feedback on Twitter has been incredible with Dons fans telling me it was an amazing week and they are saying it would be huge to win a trophy."

However, the right-back - who started out as a Manchester City trainee before being loaned to Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Stockport and Tranmere Rovers, and later ended up at Brentford - has been far from fazed by his whirlwind start in Scottish football. He pointed out that he competed in a play-off final at Wembley for Brentford and in English football's top tier with City.

The results against St Johnstone and at Celtic Park are still among his top-five most memorable matches, though. "There was a great atmosphere at the semi-final, especially with the way the seats are almost vertical at Tynecastle," he said.

"I wouldn't say I was nervous, though. I am not really a nervous person; I wasn't even nervous for the Celtic game. I will probably be more nervous for the St Mirren game [in Paisley today] to be honest, because it's the first league game.

"Celtic were always going to be favourites at Parkhead, but even though they were ahead inside 10 minutes I never felt there was anything to be scared of. I played against them in pre-season so I knew what we were coming up against. I know they have good players but I've played in big games before.

"I've come up against some good players and played alongside a few as well, guys like Georgios Samaras who was my team-mate at City. I've played against Kris Commons and Leigh Griffiths at Wolves as well. They are good players, but as a team we were always confident.

"I just sensed that our players all felt the same. I just felt the spirit and heart in this squad. We fully deserved the result."

Aberdeen will fully expect another one this afternoon. The Pittodrie side are second in the league table and have shown enough strength of late to suggest that St Mirren should be swept aside in the league.

It is a perception which the Paisley side will challenge today, with Danny Lennon starting early. "It's our home game and, like every game, we want to get as many points as we can. We want to stop losing games, there is no doubt about that," said the St Mirren manager, whose side have lost six of their last eight matches.

"I believe January was good to us in terms of working hard and strengthening the squad. The lads have already had a positive run of results before this season and I certainly believe they have the character and ability to do it again."

That previous run of form - when St Mirren won four out of five games - was sparked by a show of defiance and a goalless draw against Aberdeen in Paisley. Lennon is eager for his side to relive that moment when the two sides come together in the league again at St Mirren Park.

"That game was the catalyst for us beginning the fine form," he added. "We've got to remember the energy, the determination and the character we brought in that game. If we can bring that again, hopefully it can kick-start another positive run."

Gary Teale, meanwhile, is determined to force his way back into the first team after making his comeback in last week's Scottish Cup defeat by Dundee United. That followed four months on the sidelines with a groin problem.

"It was frustrating being out for four months but everything seems okay now," said the St Mirren winger. "I'm available and I just want to keep fit and keep in contention. There's nothing worse than sitting there when you want to be involved."

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