Break Frustrates Upbeat Dons

Pittodrie legend Jim Leighton revealed his frustration that Aberdeen have to wait a fortnight before they get the chance to build on Friday night's morale-boosting 4-0 Scottish Premier League win over Dunfermline at Pittodrie.

Manager Craig Brown had come in for some fierce criticism before the visit of the Pars following the Dons' dismal recent form but a Scott Vernon hat-trick and a Fraser Fyvie strike alleviated the pressure before the international break.

Aberdeen goalkeeping coach Leighton performs the same role for the Scotland Under-21 side and he met up with Billy Stark's squad on the outskirts of Glasgow ahead of their forthcoming Under-21 European Championship qualifying double-header against Luxembourg and Austria.

While he looks forward to the young Scots getting their qualification hopes back on track following their goalless draw in their opening game against Bulgaria at St Mirren Park, he wishes the momentum could have been kept going at Pittodrie.

"Hopefully the team does kick on," said the former Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper.

"It's just disappointing that we have two weeks before we can play again because the way they were on Friday night, we were hoping that there was a game on Saturday for us as well.

"But we just have to be patient.

"We have a really tough programme coming up but hopefully that win will start our season for us.

"The manager has said all along that the results have not been as bad as our results have suggested," added Leighton.

"He kept saying that somebody was going to get a performance like that and we get four goals and didn't concede any.

"Scott Vernon got a hat-trick and hopefully he kicks on as well.

"You don't get any more experienced than Craig and Archie (Knox) who weren't getting too down when things weren't going well and they won't get too excited when, hopefully, things are going to go a lot better in the future.

"They are trying to get the best out of the players and they have been accomplished with that over the years so we are all looking forward to hopefully having a good season now."

The young Scots play Luxembourg on Thursday before Austria visit St Mirren Park next Monday and Leighton, who confirmed that Tom Cairney (hamstring) and Liam Kelly (Achilles) were out of the first game at least, is hoping for six points.

He said: "To qualify for the championships you are looking to win all your home games so I was disappointed that we drew the last one.

"But the group looks like we are all going to be cutting each other's throats so it is important that we win these two games which will give us a lift back up there.

"I don't know a lot about Luxembourg but Billy Stark has had them carefully watched and will know everything about them by the time the game comes around.

"So we will go into it very positively and looking to win the game."

Source: Team Talk