Mikey Devlin believes his familiarity with Stevie May can help shut out St Johnstone.
The Dons are set to come up against their former striker this afternoon when the Saints visit Pittodrie.
May left Aberdeen a fortnight ago after a frustrating two years in red.
Signed from Preston for £400,000, the striker didn’t make the impact he wanted in the Granite City, hitting eight goals in 74 appearances before his recent return to Perth.
If May plays today, centre-back Devlin will be in direct opposition to him. And the stopper believes playing and training alongside May during his spell at Pittodrie can help snuff him out.
Devlin, 25, said: “It’s always strange coming up against a former team-mate – especially when he was here a couple of weeks ago.
“Come kick-off when we cross the white line he’ll be another centre-forward and I’m a centre-back trying to do my job for the team and trying to win the game.
“I’m sure we’ll shake hands before and after the game and whatever happens in between is the same as any game of football.
“Maybe knowing Stevie like I do can help playing against him.
“But it works the other way. Stevie will know our strengths and weakness and my strengths and weaknesses if I play and he’ll be trying to exploit that.
“It will be about who comes out on top on the day and both of us will be trying to get that wee advantage.
“We know Stevie well and we’ve analysed St Johnstone as a team and we’ll try our best to get the points.”
Devlin was sad to see May leave Aberdeen, but hopes the Scotland cap can rediscover top form at McDiarmid Park.
The former Hamilton Accies defender added: “I was gutted to see Stevie move on because he was a good mate of mine and a really big character in the dressing room.
“He was always laughing and smiling, he was always positive and had a great nature about things.
“His attitude and how he applied himself couldn’t be faulted, it just didn’t work out for him.
“I’m happy to see him go somewhere he can hopefully get games and score goals, that’s good for him. But I was sad to see him leave us.”
St Johnstone sit bottom of the Premiership with two points from four games.
But Devlin says the Dons won’t be underestimating them and believes it’s a matter of time before Tommy Wright’s side pick up more positive results.
He said: “They’ve had a bit of an up and down start to the season.
“But you look at the quality they have at the top end of the pitch – we know Stevie very well, Michael O’Halloran and Matthew Kennedy – they’ve got bright players at the top end of the pitch.
“They’ve got good players in the middle of the park and good players at the back.
“A lot has been made of how well Jason Kerr has done since he broke into the team as well and he is their captain.
“They’ve had a stuttering start but that can work against us because they’re firing on all cylinders and trying to get a result to boost them.
“We need to guard against that by acknowledging their capabilities and trying to combat them.”
Devlin has only played two games for Aberdeen this term, but returned to Pittodrie this week after being part of Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for the Euro qualifying double header against Russia and Belgium.
Devlin played in the Dons’ Europa League first qualifying round first leg against RoPS of Finland (2-1 win) before sustaining a hamstring problem. He made his return in the 3-0 home win against Ross County before the international break.
He said: “It was disappointing to get injured but football is full of disappointment.
“You’ve just got to fix your head as quick as possible and get focused on the rehab and try to get back as quickly as possible.
“It can stop the momentum you built up early in the season. You do the hard training and play the games in pre-season and you want to be involved in the competitive games.
“It was great to play the first game of the season but it was frustrating to get the injury after that.
“When I was coming back the team had played well and I had to be patient and wait for my opportunity.
“I got that against Ross County and that’s what I’ve tried to build on over the last couple of weeks with the international team and coming back to Aberdeen.”