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Sam Cosgrove can be Aberdeen’s talisman, says boss Derek McInnes

Aberdeen v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Derek McInnes has backed frontman Sam Cosgrove to catch fire and ignite Aberdeen’s push for points in the second half of the season.

The 24-year-old has topped the Pittodrie scoring charts in each of the last two seasons, but this term has been more of a struggle.

Cosgrove suffered a serious knee injury in the summer and has taken time to rediscover his scoring touch.

However, he now has two goals in his last three games after netting against both Kilmarnock and St Johnstone and Dons boss McInnes hopes this is the start of another red-hot run as he prepares to take his team to Livingston on Wednesday.

He said: “It’s fair to say that big Sam has not had his problems to seek this season.

“He picked up a serious injury in pre-season coming off the back of the long lockdown lay-off, so he’s taken a bit longer to find his feet than people may have expected.

“It’s been about trying to build up his sharpness, his confidence and his general play.

“But if he can score goals as he’s working towards his best then great.

“Having him and Curtis Main available to lead the line for us is fantastic as there has been times this season where we’ve not had striker options.

“Sam has always been an important player over the last couple of seasons and the fact he’s scored a couple of goals of late should give him the confidence to really kick on.

“There have been so many of our stats that have been good this year but we could still be doing with that talismanic striker at the top end who can really catch fire and score goals week in and week out.

“Sam is showing he can do that and hopefully between him and Curtis they can provide the goals that we’re looking for from our strikers.”

The Reds’ Boxing Day win over St Johnstone was their sixth game in a row without defeat, but they now take on a side who are in even better form under new boss Davie Martindale.

Gary Holt’s former number two has masterminded six straight wins since taking over at the Tony Macaroni Arena and McInnes reckons it is a much-deserved appointment.

“He’s certainly making it look easy,” laughed the Aberdeen manager. “Livingston has been a brilliant story over the last three or four years. It started out with a good friend of mine, Davie Hopkin, with the job he did in securing back-to-back promotions to take the club back to the top flight.

“Gary then took over and continued so much of the good work – and now Davie gets his opportunity.

“There has been some brilliant work done at Livingston and it seems right that Davie gets his go now. He’s been part of the staff and he certainly deserves the opportunity and what a start he has made.

“It’s a tough game for us regardless, but when they have that added ingredient of full confidence it makes it even more difficult.”