Dons manager Derek McInnes is delighted Joe Lewis has indicated he’s keen to sign an extended contract.
The Evening Express revealed last week that McInnes planned to open talks with keeper Lewis, despite the fact the 29-year-old still has 18 months to go on his current deal.
Lewis has confirmed those talks have now started and he is eager to remain at Pittodrie long term.
That would please McInnes greatly.
He admitted the big keeper is now a vital part of his plans.
McInnes said: “You want to keep your best players for as long as possible and Joe is one of them.
“I’ve spoken often enough about the importance of having a quality goalkeeper.
“It can make a huge difference to your season.
“Joe has a real quiet authority that has helped spread confidence through the team. He has a presence that makes you feel confident that we won’t lose too many goals.”
The quality of the displays from Lewis is underlined by the fact he will be looking for his 16th shut-out in all competitions when they travel to take on Hamilton in the Premiership this evening.
McInnes said: “We have only lost eight goals at home all season.
Joe has played his part with crucial saves in a lot of those matches.
“He’s different class.”
Hamilton are now bottom of the league but McInnes reckons that will make them even more dangerous opponents tonight.
The Dons would go 12 points clear of Rangers in second spot if they win in Lanarkshire.
McInnes said: “Each game becomes even more important as you get towards the close of the season. Every team you face has something big to play for because of the way the league has shaped up.
“They are either trying to get into the top six or stave off relegation.
“It means there is an added challenge in every game. There are no easy ones.”
The Dons also lost 1-0 on their last league visit to Hamilton.
Referee Willie Collum awarded Accies an early penalty and the Dons never managed to recover.
McInnes said: “We have won every game against them at Pittodrie but not always had the results we wanted down there.
“The start will be important if we want to improve on that tonight. I’ve said enough about the circumstances that led to them taking the lead the last time.
“We felt aggrieved but it gave Hamilton something to hold on to. The aim this time is to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Winger Jonny Hayes has recovered from the leg strain that forced him to go off early in the Ross County.
Striker Jayden Stockley again misses out because of a shoulder injury but is expected to be fit for Sunday’s Scottish Cup clash with Partick Thistle.