Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin feels VAR was just one factor in the cinch Premiership’s goal-laden weekend as he hailed the entertainment levels in Scotland’s top flight.
The protracted weekend of action saw 29 goals in six matches, with all 12 teams finding the net on the same fixture card for the first time since August 2017.
The Dons helped set the tone when they beat Hibernian 4-1 at Pittodrie on Friday to take their tally to 30 goals this season in all competitions at their own stadium.
Goodwin, whose team face Livingston in West Lothian on Tuesday night, said: “Firstly, I think the product on the park is a good one. A lot of teams have improved really, really well, there are some good players involved in games, and it’s a very, very competitive league.
“From an entertainment perspective, that’s what we want.
“I do think VAR has played a part. Our first goal on Friday night would have been flagged offside before we even got to speak about the penalty. Our first goal against Motherwell was ruled out for offside and thankfully VAR overruled that.
“I do think VAR is contributing to more penalties, if you think about that Dundee United one against Celtic.
“I think it’s a positive, I really do. We certainly can’t be complaining about the amount of goals being scored. It’s what we want. We have 21 goals at home in the league and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who has scored more.
“It’s an entertainment business and all managers need to find a way to bring enjoyment to our supporters.
“The fans like high-scoring games, that’s what we want to see. Sitting watching a boring 0-0 is not what anyone wants.
“The more attacking, free-flowing football we get from everybody, the more entertaining the game will be as a whole and the better the spectacle, and hopefully we will be able to market it a lot better as well and get some fresh investment along with it.”
The artificial pitch at the Tony Macaroni Arena is not usually associated with high-scoring games, but Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos is relishing his first visit.
The former Nuneaton and Derby goalkeeper, who had loan spells at several lower-league clubs in England, said: “I’ve heard this a couple of times, I think people look at this one a little bit like Stoke on a Tuesday night.
“But, coming from Holland, I grew up on Astroturf, so for me it’s no big deal. Do you want to play on astro or a bobbly pitch? Everyone has their opinion.
“If you talk about professionalism, I think it’s a very exciting place for me to go personally. I had to grow up in football playing nitty-gritty games in League Two, Conference. These kind of atmospheres are completely different, but they are unique and special in their way.
“I see these kind of games as a good challenge. I don’t find it difficult, just different.”
Jonny Hayes will remain out for the Dons despite making good progress from a groin injury.
Goodwin said: “Jonny is very close, but we think there is no point risking him. His first game back wouldn’t be ideal on that surface. We will train Jonny during the week and see if we can push him for the weekend.
“But we have good options in that position, so there is no need for us to ask Jonny to play through the pain barrier.”