Pawlett Looks To Bebo

The Dons winger watched Chris Maguire impress on Scotland U21 duty before staking a place in the first team at Pittodrie.

Now Pawlett, who came off the bench in both U21 games over the weekend, will use the same route to force his way into Craig Brown’s side.

“That’s the aim with me,” Pawlett told The Away End. “I’ve struggled a lot with injuries, but hopefully now I can cement my place down in the team. My aim is to play as much football as possible.

“You look at Chris now; he’s in derby, he’s got himself a good move there, so it’s an incentive for me and Jacko [Ryan Jack].

“The under 21s is a great stepping stone for us and it’s a lot of experience.”

The international break perhaps came at the wrong time for Pawlett and his Dons team-mates after they finally found their goal scoring touch against Dunfermline, but he says the gap between games won’t have dampened the side’s confidence.

He said: “4-0 it was a great result against Dunfermline. We’re still high in confidence, and the manager will keep reminding us of it.

“We’ll watch the video, it’ll still be in our minds, and we’ll still have lots of confidence.”

This weekend the Dons get back to the traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off, with Dundee United heading up the A90.

The Tannadice men have had the better of the meetings between the North-east pair in recent seasons, and with testing games against Celtic and Rangers on the horizon Pawlett knows the Dons need to be at their best.

“It’s a ‘New Firm’ derby,” he said. “We’ve got a poor record, but there’ll be quite a few people there I reckon.

“We’ve a good support; they’re expecting us to get all three points. If we win the game we’re right back up the table so it’s a great chance for us.

“We played Rangers earlier this season at Ibrox and were unlucky not to get anything. The second half we dominated the game.

“But with Celtic and Rangers next we need to get these three points against Dundee United and just get as much as we can from the Old Firm.”

Scotland were emphatic victors against Luxembourg on Friday with a 5-1 win, before returning home and coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Austria.

Pawlett came off the bench both times, something he’s had to be familiar with this season, but says at the moment he’s just delighted to be involved.

“I just want to play football,” he said. “Out wide, right or left, it doesn’t really bother me. I’ll play any side.

“I took a shot and then it went out wide, the ball came across to me and I headed it. Fortunately Jordan followed in and scored.

“Also I had the shot that just went wide. Bit unfortunate not to score but I enjoyed the experience.”

He added: “It was very disappointing not to win. Austria are a very good side, towards the end of the game they were putting a lot of pressure on us. We’re disappointed not to get three points but we’re still in the championship.

“There’s a great spirit amongst the boys, we believe in ourselves and we believe we can win every game, so I wasn’t surprised we came back. We’ll take a lot of positives from it.

“I think the aim was six points but four points we are still in the championship. We need to go away from home and get results and we’re more than capable of beating any team here.  We showed against Luxembourg how well we pass the ball around and how good we gel as a team. We’re still in with a very good chance.”

After dropping points at home now to both Bulgaria and Austria though, Scotland may well need to get points off group favourites Holland, but Pawlett is unconcerned by that.

“They’re a big name, they’re a big country,” he said. “They are favourites, but we were watching the Austria v Holland game and Austria should have taken something from the game, they were unlucky to get beat 1-0.

“So we can look at that game and see their weaknesses and take advantage of it.”