Interim boss Paul Sheerin is set to give the Dons’ young guns a chance to further impress incoming manager Stephen Glass.
Former Atlanta United 2 boss Glass is undergoing a 10-day quarantine having flown in from the United States and will not meet with the squad until Tuesday.
In Glass’ absence, reserve team coach Sheerin will be in the dugout in Perth tomorrow for the Premiership clash away to St Johnstone.
We will look at our squad and see what opportunity there is to change things up and give young players a chance.
“We are looking at different options in different areas to get them in.”
Interim Aberdeen manager Paul Sheerin
Sheerin has overseen the Reds’ last two games and handed debut first team starts to rising stars Calvin Ramsay, 17 (1-0 Scottish Cup win at Dumbarton) and Jack MacKenzie, 20 (1-0 loss at Dundee United).
Sheerin also started attacker Ethan Ross, 19, at Dumbarton – only his second Dons start and his first since October 2019.
Glass has reiterated to Sheerin that he will not interfere with his team selection or tactics for tomorrow’s post-split match in Perth.
And Sheerin is ready to again turn to youth as he reckons they are ‘worthy’ of a place in the starting XI.
Sheerin said: “We will look at our squad and see what opportunity there is to change things up and give young players a chance.
“We are looking at different options in different areas to get them in.
“However, it is not just to get them in – we feel they are worth their position in the team.
“And if we think they are the best players in those areas of the pitch, we will obviously play them.”
Defender MacKenzie made his first Dons start against Dundee United, but was ineligible for the Scottish Cup third round tie at Dumbarton as he has featured in the tournament previously this season whilst on loan at Forfar Athletic.
Right-back Ramsay made his debut late on off the bench against United and was then pitched in from the start in the cup game at the weekend.
Ramsay limped off the pitch midway through the second half at Dumbarton, but Sheerin confirmed the teen only suffered cramp and is fit to face St Johnstone tomorrow.
He said: “Calvin is fine.
“He ended up cramping up and it was maybe nervous exhaustion with his full debut and getting caught up in the excitement.
“He has no issues.
“Dumbarton was the ideal opportunity to give Calvin a game as it was one that was suited him.”
Just days after his first Dons start defender, MacKenzie penned a two-year contract extension tying him to Pittodrie until summer 2023.
In January, Ramsay also penned a new deal until summer 2024.
Sheerin is confident the emergence of young talent bodes well for the future of the club under new manager Glass, who will be assisted by England squad striker coach Allan Russell.
He said: “Going forward hopefully the young players will continue to develop in their own careers and continue to be an asset for the club.
“I spoke highly of Jack on his debut, although he openly admits he could have done better with the goal.
“But that is a learning process.
“He is a bright boy and will learn from that.
“I thought Calvin’s first full debut at Dumbarton was exceptional.
“Ethan had good patches of the game as well at Dumbarton as well.
“It bodes well and gives them good experience.”
Meanwhile, Sheerin confirmed on-loan Stade de Reims striker Fraser Hornby is available for tomorrow’s trip to Perth.
Hornby was ruled out of the squad to face Dumbarton late on by injury.
His availability is a boost as on loan St Johnstone striker Callum Hendry, who scored against Dumbarton, in ineligible for tomorrow’s match due to the terms of his loan deal.
Sheerin said: “Fraser is good to go.
“Unfortunately he picked up a wee niggle at the tail end of last week.
“We were hopeful he would have been okay, but he didn’t quite make it. He will be fine come Saturday.”
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) April 6, 2021