• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Kilmarnock v Aberdeen: Reynolds' focus is on the pitch, not up in the stands

As supporters go, those at Aberdeen are as fickle as they come.

Reynolds: 'Sunday's defeat was the slap in the face that we needed'
Reynolds: 'Sunday's defeat was the slap in the face that we needed'

As Willie Collum's final whistle reverberated round Pittodrie following the crushing Sunday defeat by Dundee United, the floodgates opened on a frenzy of boos and jeers of a kind last heard with any great force during the managerial reigns of Craig Brown and, before him, Mark McGhee.

The fans' forums have been in overdrive since, simply underlining the message to the players that, following a third place in the SPFL Premiership and a League Cup win last season, expectation among the support is high.

Mark Reynolds may not have been surprised by such a reaction after the opening game of the season, but, he insisted, it would not be allowed to affect his approach to his work. "The fans pay their money and with the expectation they have that is always going to happen," he said.

"It's understandable. Football is a passionate game and emotions run high. As a player you just get on with it. That kind of thing has never really bothered me; what the supporters say. That's no disrespect to supporters, saying I don't care. Fans are the lifeblood of the game, but I have always tried to analyse it and concentrate on my own game.

"If you start to get hung up on what people are saying or what is in the press you start picking apart your game and it can get to you."

The former Motherwell defender is adamant that there is no belief within the Aberdeen changing-room that they can simply turn-up and expect to gain the result they want. That, he said, would be apparent at Kilmarnock tonight.

"Last season our fans didn't see a side that was out-fought and that was not what they expected to see on Sunday so I understand. It was maybe the shot in the arm we needed. It's already out of our system. Sometimes you need a reality check and that was a slap on the face.

"It's the kind of result that can happen if we don't turn up. We are not a world class-team that can pick and choose the games and expect to pop the ball in the net, keep clean sheets and win games.

"If we don't give 100% and don't out-fight teams then we will get beaten and that's what happened on Sunday. It was a reminder we are far from the finished article."

Russell Anderson and Jonny Hayes will return to the Aberdeen line-up after one-game suspensions which will allow manager Derek McInnes to freshen-up his side as he stressed that, while he would prefer to play the game on grass, he will accept no excuses for a poor performance at Rugby Park. Players, he insisted, could adapt quickly to operating on artificial surfaces.

"I would expect us to have no problems or issues with that," he added. "There are a lot of reasons for installing them and they are a lot better than the astroturf pitches of the past. I can understand from a community and financial point of view that clubs are turning to it and we will see more and more of it."

He admitted to being impressed by Kilmarnock and some of their new faces in their 1-1 draw against a strong Dundee side at Dens Park last weekend. "They have made a few signings," he said, "and they look good ones too and while I don't think Dundee will be an easy place to win, Kilmarnock could have done that."

Allan Johnston, the Kilmarnock manager, meanwhile, believes opposition managers will have to think twice about which players they use on the new plastic Rugby Park pitch. "It will be something that older players will have to think about," he said. "Hopefully other teams coming here might end up leaving some players out of their team if they have guys with niggles and decide they don't want to risk it on an artificial pitch."

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

254360