Aberdeen’s McLennan: I’m glad about Brechin into Dons first team

Connor McLennan. 
Picture by Darrell Benns
Connor McLennan. Picture by Darrell Benns

Connor McLennan believes the time has come to try to establish himself in the Aberdeen first team.

The teenage attacker spent the first half of last season battling it out in a struggling Brechin City team in the Championship.

However, McLennan feels that experience served him well – despite the Hedgemen failing to win a league game last term.

Since returning to the Dons in January McLennan has pushed on in the Reserves and he has also featured in Derek McInnes’ first team.

The 19-year-old has made three top-team appearances for the Reds this term, which included netting his first senior goal in the 4-1 win over St Mirren on October 6.

Reflecting on his rise McLennan is thankful for the time he spent with Brechin – which he believes has helped him get game time for Aberdeen.

Now the Peterhead-born youngster is in contention to feature against Hibs at Pittodrie tonight and he hopes he can continue to make more appearances for the Dons over the coming weeks.

McLennan said: “That helped me massively. I got a run of games without injuries.

“I was playing first-team football against senior pros week-in, week-out.

“Every week I was playing against good players with different qualities and I think that helped me massively.

“Going from playing Under-20s to first team can be a massive change.

“It is a level up, it’s more physical and you learn much more playing with senior players.

“It didn’t really go to plan in the Championship for Brechin, but I took the positives from it and came back a better player.

“I feel I am seeing the benefits of that. I would put a lot of my improvement down to that spell.

“I’m more confident and that has helped me and hopefully I can push on now.

“There are a lot of young boys here trying to push on and make an impression here. We are pushing each other on every day in training and hopefully we can take our chance when it comes.”

McLennan has been pleased with his contributions to the first team so far this campaign – the highlight of which was his stunning strike against St Mirren.

Aberdeen’s Connor McLennan scores to make it 2-0 against St Mirren.

He added: “I have been pleased with my impact, I’m pleased to be more in and around the first team this season.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries over the last few years so I’m happy to be involved.

“That goal was something you dream of as a kid to score on your first start for the club and you’re always wanting to make a good impression.

“You want to take your chance when it comes and I hope I did that.

“It is about trying to stay in the mix. There was a lot of injuries at the start of the season and some of the young players were involved.

“And when the gaffer calls upon us we try to do our best.”

Tonight Aberdeen, who are seventh in the table, can move up to fourth by beating Hibs at Pittodrie. A win would take them level on points with Rangers in third.

After the high of last week where the Dons beat the Gers in the League Cup semi-final and recorded wins against Hamilton and Kilmarnock in the league, McLennan is hoping they can keep the momentum going and make it four in a row.

He said: “It will be a tough game and it always is against Hibs.

“We’ve played them a couple of times this season and we know what they’re like.

“If we could win it gets us up the table and that’s where we need to be.

“We had a good week last week with three wins and it’s time for us to kick on. We got good results and it was a massive week and it has boosted the confidence.

“Hopefully we can build on it.”