Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has backed loan attacker Austin Samuels to make the attack more potent when fully match fit.
Glass is frustrated at being unable to utilise Samuels as much as he would have liked since securing the attacker on a season long loan from Wolves.
The 20-year-old has yet to play an entire 90 minutes as he battles back to full match fitness having picked up an injury early in his loan spell.
Samuels impressed in the 2-1 loss against Celtic but Glass had to replace him in the 78th minute, when the game was still level.
Glass reckons the former England youth international will bring an added edge to the Dons’ attack when he can complete a full 90 minutes.
The Dons boss has organised a bounce friendly this week in a bid to increase Samuels’ match fitness ahead of the Premiership clash with Dundee on Saturday, October 16.
Glass said: “Everyone can see the threat Austin carries.
“Austin is quick and positive but has not been able to train as much as we would have liked since he came in.
“That’s the thing when you add players late in the window, they don’t get the opportunity to bed in.
“He also had a little injury that stopped him training.
“We had to take Austin off after an hour (1-0 loss St Johnstone) and against Celtic he got 75 minutes or so into his his legs.
“If Austin can produce that for 90 minutes we become more potent.”
Friendly arranged to get more game time
Samuels was secured by Aberdeen in the final week of the summer transfer window.
Aberdeen have an option-to-buy clause inserted into the agreement following the conclusion of the loan spell.
The attacker has already admitted his aim is to impress the Dons enough for them to activate that clause to buy him from the English top flight side.
Samuels made an impressive debut in starting the 1-1 draw with Ross County just days after arriving at Pittodrie and was substituted off after 64 minutes.
An injury suffered during training then ruled him out of the next game, a 2-0 loss to Motherwell at Fir Park.
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Samuels returned for the next clash, a 1-0 loss to St Johnstone, but was replaced on the hour mark.
Aberdeen were drawing 0-0 when Samuels was substituted and would go on to concede a late goal to Saints.
In the aftermath of that defeat Glass confirmed he was informed by the club’s physios and medical team that Samuels could only play for the maximum of an hour against St Johnstone without running the risk of setting back his return from injury.
Although the Dons were chasing a vital win against Saints, Glass refused to extend that time-line and risk putting the attacker’s fitness at risk.
Samuels featured in the following game as a substitute, coming on in the 72nd minute when the Dons were down to 10 men, in the 3-2 loss to St Mirren.
The on loan Wolves attacker then got 72 minutes against Celtic in a defeat that extended Aberdeen’s run without a victory to nine games in all competitions.
Glass said: “We have managed to arrange a game for later in the week so that boys like Austin will get extra time in his legs.
“That will be important for him moving forward.”
Watkins and Hedges set to return to action
Aberdeen were without attackers Marley Watkins and Ryan Hedges for the loss to Celtic.
Summer signing Watkins, 30, was sidelined with a hamstring injury that has ruled him out for the last three matches.
Playmaker Hedges, 26, missed the Celtic game due to illness.
Hedges had only returned to action from a six match lay off with a hamstring problem in the previous match, the loss at St Mirren.
Both Hedges and Watkins are set to be available for the game at Dundee after the international break.