Evening Express

Aberdeen boss McInnes: Bruce will still get his chance to create a buzz

Bruce Anderson celebrates after making it 1-1 against Rangers.

Boss Derek McInnes today confirmed teen striker Bruce Anderson will still get the chance to shine for the Dons this season despite signing a striker from Manchester United.

Former England U21 cap James Wilson was secured on a season- long loan from the Old Trafford club earlier this week.

The 22-year-old, who netted a double on his senior debut for the Premier League giants in 2014, is carrying an ankle knock sustained in an U23 game with the English top flight giants last Friday.

Wilson was today being assessed and McInnes is hopeful he will be given the all clear to make his debut against St Mirren in the BetFred Cup at Pittodrie tomorrow.

Anderson, 19, had been the Reds’ most potent attack threat in the two Premiership games so far despite coming off the bench.

The Pittodrie youth Academy graduate netted an injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Rangers and rattled the bar in the 1-0 defeat of Dundee.

Rising star Anderson scored a sensational 25-yard goal in the 3-1 Irn Bru Cup defeat to Raith Rovers on Tuesday evening.

McInnes insists the teen will not be frozen out despite the capture of Wilson.

Asked if Anderson will still be in the frame this season, McInnes said: “Definitely. That goes without saying.

“Bruce will go on to prove he is an important member of the squad and nothing changes from that.

“He is a boy we all have high hopes for because Bruce is a natural finisher. To bridge the gap from being a starting No 9 and a young player is quite a big ask.

“But certainly when we have asked Bruce to do his duties he has done it. He will do well for us.”

Anderson came off the bench against Rangers for his senior debut and scored the vital equaliser with a calm finish.

Only the woodwork at Dens Park denied him a second successive goal. Fellow strikers Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove have yet to score this season.

McInnes said: “Bruce is infectious and gave us a spark.

“We definitely thought about it (starting Anderson against Dundee) but I do think we have got to be careful as well.

“Bruce is a goalscorer. There is no other thought with him other than shooting.

“I love that about him.

“ All Bruce wanted to do against Dundee was get a shot away and he was unlucky to hit the bar with his shot.”

The teenager underlined his quality, and confidence, by scoring a 25-yard screamer against Raith in the Irn-Bru Cup this week.

McInnes said: “That goal at Raith was a wee reminder from Bruce.

“It showed the confidence he has at the minute. You don’t take that shot on if you are not confident. He has the technique and power to score that type of goal.”

Anderson spent the first half of last season on loan at League Two Elgin City and netted six goals in 14 appearances.

He scored a hat-trick for Aberdeen in the 3-0 Scottish Youth Cup semi-final win over Kilmarnock to book a final spot against Hibs at Hampden.

McInnes said: “Against Dundee, the best time for Bruce to come in and have as much effect, was when he was up against tired centre-halves.

“Sometimes it is all about that time when defenders have been used to playing a certain way and have the minutes under them.

“Then a pair of fresh legs comes on and he is chasing everything.

“Bruce was like a wasp against Dundee, all over them. Sometimes it is difficult for centre-halves to react to that added energy.

“For that reason, Bruce became more effective as a substitute at Dundee.”