25 May 2023

Aberdeen hotshot Graeme Shinnie fired up by frustration over ‘unjust’ suspension

25 May 2023

Aberdeen midfielder Graeme Shinnie admits he was fired by a sense of injustice as his double helped the Dons return to Europe.

Shinnie netted twice in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over St Mirren as Aberdeen secured third spot, which will guarantee group stage football next term if Celtic beat Inverness in the Scottish Cup final.

The 31-year-old was returning from a four-match ban, which was extended because the club’s appeal against his red card against Ross County was deemed as having no prospect of success.

Shinnie had been suspended for five of Aberdeen’s previous seven games and was sent off in the other two, so he was determined to make his mark on Wednesday.

“That’s four games of frustration coming out,” he told RedTV.

“I went through the whole season without scoring. I think I have scored in every season that I have played in so far, so I am delighted to keep that run going. Bit selfish of the boys not to get me a penalty at the end for my hat-trick. My legs had gone at the end so I was struggling to push forward.

“The frustrating part of being out for so long, which I felt was unjust, was not being able to help the team and try to drive them forward.

“Coming into this game, having to win to finish third, it was my objective to drive the team on. Did I envisage scoring two goals? I wanted to but I didn’t expect it so I am absolutely over the moon to help the team.”

Shinnie admitted the Dons’ turnaround in fortunes under manager Barry Robson had been unthinkable.

Jim Goodwin lost his job after heavy defeats by Hearts and Hibernian sandwiched a huge Scottish Cup upset at Darvel, and Aberdeen were 10 points behind Hearts after losing to St Mirren in Robson’s first game in caretaker charge.

Wednesday’s victory sent them four points above the Jambos, with Saturday’s trip to Celtic Park now a dead rubber.

Shinnie said: “Who would have thought we would have been in this position in January? I can only speak so highly of the manager and the staff, how good they have been, and also the players.

“To react to one of the worst week’s in the club’s history, that’s what we had to react to, to where we are now, the third best team in the league, it’s an incredible turnaround. The hard work has paid off.

“The manager and staff have changed the style of football. It’s exciting football, there’s a lot of men pushing forward on the transition. It’s good to watch and it’s good to play in.”

Shinnie was coy when asked whether he would be part of the club’s European adventure. His loan spell from Wigan expires soon and he has a year left on his contract with the Latics.

“Well, I have got one more game to go first,” Shinnie said. “Like the manager always says, we will take one game at a time.”

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