BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hamilton defender Jesus Garcia Tena is adamant Aberdeen have already proved they are bona fide title contenders, but believes complacency could kick in at Pittodrie this evening.
The 25-year-old has described the Dons as “the team to beat” in Scotland following their gutsy 2-1 win over Celtic on Saturday.
That view is underlined by a cursory glance at the league table. Aberdeen will go five points clear of the Hoops at the summit of the Premiership if they extend their 100 per cent record this evening.
Tena is acutely aware that few onlookers will give them a prayer of returning from the Granite City with three points. The SPFL’s own sponsor, Ladbrokes, make them 6/1 shots for the win.
However, Tena has suggested that Aberdeen’s blistering start to the season could actually work in Accies’ favour.
“Hopefully for us it will be good that Aberdeen won against Celtic,” said the towering Spaniard. “Maybe they will be overconfident.
“Aberdeen have plenty of points and it is a huge game for them. They are the team to beat. They are genuine contenders for the league if and they keep going like this they are obviously going to fight for the title.
“Aberdeen have very good players and we will show them the respect they are due. But on the pitch they are just boys like me. I don’t care about the names.
“We have to go with the same mentality in every single game. Each one is a cup final for us because we want to achieve our targets for the season.”
Prior to last weekend’s round of fixtures Accies were on a run of three consecutive league wins, including a triumph over the previous 100 percenters Hearts.
So the 4-1 mauling which took place in Perth was something of a shock to the Lanarkshire outfit. But Tena is keen to emphasise that, just as their winning run did not make them world-beaters, one heavy defeat does not make them duds.
“It has been a good start to the season for us and we won three games in a row,” he continued. “But we need to keep it going.
“We have analysed the weekend game and put it to bed. We start from zero again against Aberdeen. It is another game and we have to show what we are capable of. We have to try to get the win.
“It was bad result for us at the weekend but we didn’t get carried away after our win over Hearts, and we won’t overreact to defeat on Saturday.”