Leighton Clarkson is determined to continue strengthening his on-field bond with Aberdeen’s strikers as he bids to help them kick-start their season and climb the cinch Premiership table.
The 21-year-old playmaker has scored six goals himself since moving to Pittodrie – initially on loan from Liverpool – at the start of last term while he has played a big part in supplying Reds forwards Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes and Bojan Miovski.
Ester Sokler and Pape Habib Gueye have joined the Dons attack this summer and Clarkson feels it is his duty to make sure he is on the same wavelength of all the front players in Barry Robson’s squad in order to do his own job properly.
“That’s part of my game, something I’ve always tried to do through youth levels, trying to get good connections with the strikers or striker I’m playing with,” he said. “It’s part of my game I still want to improve on.
“I want more assists and more goals. I managed to get a good relationship with both Duk and Bojan, especially in the last six months of last season, and it’s just about continuing that and getting to know Ester and Pape as well. It’s something I’m working on with them and something that needs to be good for the season.”
Aberdeen need their attack to click into gear as they currently sit joint-bottom of the cinch Premiership table with no wins and just three goals from their four league matches.
“It’s definitely not the start we’d have wanted but it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said Clarkson. “It’s not been a great start.
“The two points we’ve picked up could prove to be good points in the season but we’ve not managed to get the win that we want so hopefully we can do it on Saturday.
“Football’s based on momentum and when you have that you feel good going into each game. Although it’s not been the best of starts, we’re still positive and we know what we’ve got to do. I’m sure we’ll get there.”
Aberdeen travel to Hearts on Saturday before facing Eintracht Frankfurt away in their opening Europa Conference League group match next Thursday.
The fixtures continue to come thick and fast thereafter as the Dons try to get to grips with juggling domestic and European matters.
Clarkson is eager to help his team get a victory at Tynecastle to set them up nicely for their glamour trip to Germany.
“It’s a good chance to kick-start the season,” he said. “Hearts are a very good team but we need to go there and perform well and get a positive result under our belts.
“We’ve got Hearts on Saturday and then a European game on Thursday and then another league game then a cup game. There’s lots of games up until Christmas. It’s nice playing in all the different competitions but we’ll focus on the next one, which is Hearts.”