Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty says Bruce Anderson has given him and Derek McInnes a selection headache.
The 21-year-old striker came off the bench and netted the Dons’ second goal in yesterday’s 2-1 win against Livingston at Pittodrie.
Connor McLennan got the opener for the Reds, who claimed the points despite Lyndon Dykes’ goal with four minutes left and being without 20-goal striker Sam Cosgrove after his appeal against his red card against Celtic last Saturday was rejected by the SFA.
Aberdeen finish 2019 when they face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday and Anderson may be in line for his first start of the season against the Jambos.
Dons No 2 Docherty said: “We jigged the team about a bit and when we lose our goalscorer we get a young deputy in Bruce Anderson who can come on and score.
“The pleasing thing from the club’s point of view is that it’s two academy graduates that have got the goals.
“It’s understandable that people want to see Bruce get a run because I work with Bruce every day and he’s a great player, a great finisher.
“He had one opportunity and he scores and that’s what he does. But Bruce is behind one of the top scorers in the league in Sam and Curtis Main and what he gives you.
“It’s difficult for Bruce, he does have to bide his time. But he has to affect what he can affect and he does that.
“When he plays in the reserves he’s banging the goals in and when he gets his opportunity in the first team he does what he did and took the chance he got.
“When he gets minutes on the pitch he shows what a threat he is.
“Bruce does give the manager something to think about in terms of selection (for Sunday) because he came on and had one opportunity and managed to get his goal.
“So it’s credit to him and when Bruce gets minutes he shows he’s a valuable member of the squad.”
Docherty was disappointed Cosgrove’s two-game suspension as a result of his sliding challenge on Kristoffer Ajer at Parkhead was not overturned.
The Aberdeen appeal was rejected on Christmas Eve, but Docherty was pleased with the performances of Curtis Main and Anderson.
He added: “Of course there is disappointment when you lose somebody that’s done so well.
“But we planned the team on Christmas Day with Sam not playing.
“Curtis Main’s contribution to Bruce’s goal is exactly what Curtis is all about and then when we went to a front two bringing Bruce on he was a good foil.
“There was just little bit of disappointment that we didn’t keep the clean sheet at 2-0.
“Livingston are a good side and they’d scored 10 goals in the last three games so it was always going to be difficult.
“But I thought we were deserving winners.”
Following Cosgrove’s failed appeal, Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack also expressed his anger that the red card was not overturned.
The Pittodrie supremo accused Ajer of “feigning injury” and was also unhappy with Leigh Griffiths’ apparent stamp on Lewis Ferguson.
Cormack’s comments on social media provoked a furious response from Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who said: “Kris is the victim in all of this.
“He was on the end of a heavy challenge and I’m not having someone from the Aberdeen board talking about my players like that.
“We’ve tried to be balanced but when you see comments like that we’re not tolerating it as a club.
“It’s very naive from Mr Cormack. It’s an attack on my player and the comments are absolutely disgraceful.”
When asked for his take the furore, Docherty said: “There’s not a lot we can do about that and my focus was on picking up three points at home which we managed to do.
“I’ll only talk about preparing the team and trying to win the game and being ready for the next one.”
Livi boss Gary Holt said: “Individual mistakes cost us and it’s a sore one to take. We have to take responsibility for winning tackles and taking chances.”