Polvara embracing Hibernian rivalry as push for European place heats up

The midfielder says the squad has bonded over a tough schedule.

Dante Polvara embracing Hibernian rivalry as push for European place heats up SNS Group

Aberdeen have yet to finish their European campaign but midfielder Dante Polvara is already focused on ensuring they can do it again next year.

The Dons fought back for a 2-2 draw against HJK in Finland on Thursday and now continue a difficult run of fixtures with a trip to face Hibernian.

Both sides were in Europe this season and Polvara is feeling the rivalry as Aberdeen look to move up from 10th in the cinch Premiership table.

Polvara said on the club’s official website: “Sunday is huge considering what we’re coming up against. It feels like every time we play them, it feels like the tide swings. You really never know what the result is going to be going into it.

“Credit to both clubs, they have loads of quality, but it’s obviously a team that we are competing with, in terms of those European places. Although it’s only December you have to start thinking about that. It definitely forms a bit of a tension and a rivalry and I think that makes it all a bit more fun.

“We rested some important players in Finland which can really help us going into Sunday.”

Sunday’s trip to Easter Road will be a seventh game out of eight away from Pittodrie for Aberdeen, a run which included a Hampden win over Hibs in the Viaplay Cup semi-finals.

Polvara believes the time on the road has helped the squad forge relationships.

“We have played against a lot of tough opposition on the road and for the most part, we’ve handled it quite well,” the American said.

“At times we could have maybe even got more out of games. That’s credit to the boys for their mentally being up for the challenge all the time.

“Credit as well to the fans that come on the road. They show up every time without fail and we appreciate it more than they probably know because it plays a big part.

“The dressing room is a great group of boys, I think that is evident to people on the outside.

“We have had something like seven away games, you spend a lot of time on the bus together. A lot of nonsense around the hotel, card games, you name it. You hear bits and pieces of everybody’s story and it’s always interesting getting to know your team-mates on a better level. That’s the sort of things you’re afforded with away games.

“I’d say the squad morale is in a good place, especially after the game in Finland with some of the boys who haven’t probably seen the field as much as they would have liked too. It helps create a good vibe in the squad moving forward.”

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