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‘Rough Diamond’ – Cosgrove Pays Back Aberdeen Manager’S Faith With Double

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:47 AM

Dons boss Derek McInnes accepted striker Sam Cosgrove would be “rough around the edges” after his £20,000 signing from Carlisle United reserves in January.

McInnes had seen enough potential in Cosgrove, who had scored just one senior career goal, to move for him on transfer deadline day.

For the Pittodrie gaffer his job and that of his coaching staff was to iron out those rough edges to make the 21-year-old realise that potential.

It took 939 minutes and 17 appearances for Cosgrove to finally secure the gold dust of a goal.

When it arrived to open the scoring in the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren at the weekend it was quickly followed by another.

Having finally broken his scoring duck at Pittodrie, the striker has been urged by McInnes to build momentum from that goal brace.

McInnes said: “Sam is one we always felt was a good buy and a good signing for us, as a young boy who is rough round the edges, and we knew when we signed Sam he wasn’t perfect.

“But what we saw was enough in him that we could continually work with Sam and we have done that.

“We’ve been working with Sam to iron out some of those rough edges that he has got.

“He’s a youngster who’s not had a lot of game time, but Sam has been effective for us and I’m delighted that he has managed to be recognised as a goalscorer for Aberdeen.

“Strikers need the goals as they are like gold dust for themselves.

“They are never fully satisfied with their performance unless they score. Goals give them that added confidence and there is also that perception that strikers, and rightly so, should be more responsible for scoring.

“I loved how Sam took the ball in, linked the play and he was between the posts at the right time.

“His two goals were good finishes.

“Those goals should do Sam no harm.”

Prior to his double against St Mirren, Cosgrove’s only other senior competitive goal came in a 1-0 League Two defeat of Crewe for Carlisle in January this year.

He netted in a 1-1 friendly draw with Championship West Brom at Pittodrie in July.

When McInnes signed Cosgrove in the winter transfer window he admitted the striker was one for this season.

However, he pitched him in for a debut against Celtic less than a month later. It was a nightmare first Reds appearances as Cosgrove was red carded after just eight minutes of the 2-0 loss for a challenge on Hoops skipper Scott Brown.

However, McInnes was always confident the striker would come good and is adamant he had already proven his worth before scoring the brace against the Buddies.

McInnes said: “In the games that Sam has started we have not lost in 90 minutes so he has been effective for us. Sam can bring us that bit of size and he should be very pleased with his two goals.”

The dismissal of a sorry St Mirren side also marked debut Aberdeen goals for Pittodrie Youth Graduate Connor McLennan and on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe.

McLennan was given the nod for his first Dons start just hours before kick-off, the day after celebrating his 19th birthday.

Unfortunately the teen was taken off in the second half having suffered a dislocated shoulder. It is hoped McLennan will be fit to be considered for selection for the Premiership game against Hearts at Tynecastle following the international break.

McInnes said: “When you play St Mirren you have to have ball carriers in the side.

“In our own half of the pitch Connor was asked to cover his width but in the final third come into those goalscoring areas.

“Connor did that brilliantly. His goal was fantastic and he should be very pleased with his performance.”

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