Aberdeen’s Joe Lewis was yesterday tackling an economics exam – but knows the Dons face a tough test against Motherwell tonight.
After Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle – which saw them drop behind Kilmarnock in the Premiership table and out of the Europa League qualifying spots – Derek McInnes’s team know they need to get a first home league win since December 22 against the Steelmen.
Goalkeeper Lewis had to sit an assessment for his HNC in economics and business at North East Scotland College, but insists the Reds are fully focused on the fight for third.
Ahead of his exam, he said: “I’m doing an HNC in economics and business. It should be pretty straightforward.
“I’ve been studying it for two years. Everything’s a business and I don’t know what I want to do yet (after football), so if I’m going to study something it might as well be that.
“I’ll do HND afterwards. It’s the first two years of a three-year thing.”
Lewis recently told the Evening Express he sees himself playing until he’s 40, but right now he’s thinking short-term.
He said: “Obviously we were very disappointed with the result (against Hearts). First half, we played really well, and in the second half they got into it more and we gave away two poor goals, I thought.
“We’ll certainly need to bounce back tonight with three points and a performance.
“It’s huge to keep that league campaign going, as it’s very important for Aberdeen Football Club to be in Europe and qualify for European spots every season.
“It’s been a big part of Aberdeen’s history and we want to create more of that going forward, but you can only do that in the cup or getting into league positions.
“We feel we need to give ourselves every opportunity to do that.”
In September the Dons beat Well 1-0 at Pittodrie, however in November they were on the end of a 3-0 hiding at Fir Park – their last away loss in the Premiership before the Tynecastle slip-up. Aberdeen had led in Gorgie through Connor McLennan, but were dominated after half-time, conceding a penalty – which Sean Clare scored – before Uche Ikpeazu curled in the winner.
Lewis knows Motherwell have ability at both ends of the pitch and the Reds will have to show their quality. He said: “They’re a good team, they’ve got both sides of it and when they’re at it, they’re a tough team to play against.
“We need to make sure we’re very focused for the whole game, switched on. We need to defend like we know we can and play an aggressive style of football.
“They’ve got a rough and direct side, and quality. They’re a difficult opposition.
“We haven’t spoken about it (3-0 loss), but we always look at clips of previous games.
“It was a disappointing game and result and we need to keep it in the back of our minds.”
Part of Aberdeen’s struggles of late at Pittodrie has been a difficulty breaking through teams who come to sit in, and then a vulnerability in their own area.
Lewis hopes for a second home clean sheet in 2019 to give the Dons a “solid base” to beat Well.
He said: “We need that solid base that gives us the opportunity to win games.
“It’s football, things aren’t always going to go our way. A lot of the games where we’ve not picked up points, especially at home, we’ve been by far the better team on the balance of play.
“But it’s about putting the ball in the net and keeping it out of ours. Between the boxes, a lot can happen, but it’s about what happens in both penalty boxes.”