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OFFLINE Last Active Apr 22 2019 07:32 PM

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The best is yet to come from Ash Taylor – according to his former Aberdeen teammate Kenny McLean

Yesterday, 09:56 AM

Former Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean has backed Ash Taylor to make a big impact on his return to Pittodrie.

McLean, now with Norwich City, played two seasons with Taylor at the Dons and reckons the best is yet to come from the centre-half.

Taylor left Northampton Town in the summer, two seasons after departing Aberdeen following the 2017 Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic. The Cobblers were relegated a year ago and failed to get out of League 2 in last term.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes re-signed Taylor to provide competition at the back, and Scotland international McLean is confident he will have a big role to play.

McLean said: “When Ash was first there he played just about every game in our Aberdeen team.

“I know he is a player that Derek trusts and will put his full trust and faith in.

“The job Derek has done from when I was there and through the years at bringing in players has been excellent.

“He always gets the best out of his players and his recruitment is also good.

“He has taken Ash back and Derek, obviously, still sees potential in him.

“Ash is only 28 and his best years are ahead of him.

“He was a top player for us, when I was there, and I am sure that will be the case going into the new season and going forward.

“Ash was a big, strong defender.

“The manager knew what he was good at and will see those same strengths. Ash went back down the road for family reasons.

“I know he enjoyed Aberdeen because I used to stay close to him and his family. I know he had to think long and hard about leaving Aberdeen but I think it is a great signing from Derek to get him back up.”

While McInnes has a summer rebuild on his hands, the signings of Taylor, Curtis Main and Ryan Hedges indicate he is getting on with his business early.

McLean has little doubt McInnes can keep Aberdeen challenging at the top end of the table, despite the upheaval.

He added: “Aberdeen have been really consistent under Derek in recent seasons.

“He has got them back into Europe and I know he will rebuild again and you will know that whoever he signs that Aberdeen will be up there challenging at the right end of the table.

“They are a massive club. I know Aberdeen have lost a few players this summer and there will be a few new signings coming in but it is definitely a positive that Ash has already played at the club and knows what is expected.

“There was quite a bit of interest in Ash when he was coming out of Aberdeen and I know Derek will be looking to get him back to playing that level again.

“Aberdeen also have Mikey Devlin and Scott McKenna in the Scotland squad, so with big Ash and Andrew Considine there will be real competition for places.”

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New Rangers signing Greg Stewart's goals

14 June 2019 - 08:48 PM

Greg Stewart scored goals on loan to Kilmarnock and Aberdeen before winning a move to Rangers after leaving Birmingham City.

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Young: McInnes’ forced yearly rebuild is a result of his own success at Aberdeen

14 June 2019 - 11:21 AM

Former Dons midfielder Derek Young believes Aberdeen’s annual summer rebuild is a by- product of their success.

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Aberdeen beat Hibs and Rangers to sign teen Queen’s Park striker Ruth

14 June 2019 - 10:40 AM

Aberdeen have won the race to sign Queen’s Park teenage striker Michael Ruth.

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‘I’ll always stand up to racism but I doubt it can be stopped’ says Dons’ Shay Logan

14 June 2019 - 07:18 AM

Shay Logan has never been one to let things go.

An outspoken character, the Englishman has not been slow to call out incidents he believes need addressed.

Given he is a player who has suffered racist abuse on the pitch, no one should be surprised that he is willing to stand up for himself.

In a now infamous and dreadful episode in recent Scottish football history, the Aberdeen right back was racially abused at Celtic Park by Celtic player Aleksandar Tonev during a game in 2014.

If Logan hoped the seven-match ban for Tonev would be the end of the matter, he was mistaken.

As recently as this Wednesday he was being trolled on social media about the incident from five years ago, but he is not a lone voice.

A Manchester City fan and former youth player with the English Premier League champions, Logan watched City’s Raheem Sterling urge players to call out racism in 2019 and, while grateful to see more players taking a stance, he is still dejected that anyone believes it is OK to use the colour of his skin as an attempt to insult him.

He said: “It’s mad for me. It’s getting to the point where people are praising Raheem Sterling for taking a stand against racism but he shouldn’t have to do that.

“It shouldn’t be a thing but it is and he is at a platform where he has so many followers online and so many more followers because he plays for the biggest club in the world and is up there among the top players in the world.

“People listen to players like that but racism is never going to stop. How can it? If you are in the vicinity of 70,000 people and one person decides to be racist, how can you stop it? If it’s not him it will be someone else.”

The Aberdeen defender, who will return for pre-season training next week, remains baffled as to why football is so often singled out as being a root cause.

He maintains the issue runs far deeper than football but insists he will not tolerate racial abuse on or off the pitch.

He said: “In some instances it’s where a person has been brought up or what they have been taught but mostly it’s stupid people who just want to say the worst possible thing they can because Raheem scored a goal against their team and they lost.

“Instead of calling him an idiot or whatever they mention his colour as they think it’s the worst possible thing to say to somebody.

“I don’t think it will ever be stopped. What are you going to do? Ban the guy from a ground? He’ll just go to the pub and do it there or his mate will take his place and shout the same stuff.”

Recalling the Tonev incident, Logan added: “I can’t say it is just a societal thing as where I grew up it didn’t happen. I go step on a pitch then receive it, not from a fan, but from a fellow player who has black people in his team? It doesn’t make any sense.

“He made a decision to say something and a lot of the time people feel hurt and respond with what they think is the most hurtful thing they can say at the time.

“Do you know what? It’s not hurtful to black people. I always say, would they say that to me on the street?

“You say it on the pitch I can’t do anything about it.

“Say it to me in the street, it’s going to end up in a fight. It’s easy to say on the pitch as I can’t do anything.

“People make their choice, it doesn’t matter where they come from.”

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