CB wants top spot for Christmas

Manager Craig Brown is determined to hand Aberdeen fans the perfect Christmas present this year - their team sitting top of the SPL.

Victory over Inverness on Tuesday night would allow the Dons to leapfrog Celtic to the summit, ahead of the Hoops' own game against Hearts on Wednesday night.

Having struggled at the wrong end of the table in previous seasons, Brown is now relishing the challenge of ensuring Aberdeen remain one of the top forces this term.

He said: "It would be great for the fans to find their team, and our team, at the top of the league.

"That would be my wish for them for Christmas but we've got to win to ensure that we're there and it will be a very difficult game.

"Inverness will be feeling the same, it's a great chance for them too.

"At the weekend, we were saying if we could win the game, we would go second.

"We managed to overcome that challenge and now there's another one.

"These are the kind of challenges we thrive on and that the players should thrive on."

Brown has a number of injury concerns ahead of the visit of the Highlanders and is wary of the threat posed by a side who defeated Celtic at the weekend.

He said: "Even with our full strength squad, Inverness constitute a real challenge.

"They're playing very well, they have been to Glasgow and won at Ibrox and Celtic Park this season so another 'trophy' would be a victory at Pittodrie.

"We intend to make sure they don't get that but it will be a hard game.

"We always go out thinking we can win a game.

"Even with a depleted squad I think people will acknowledge we've got good resources and it's a great chance for the guys who come in to stand up to the challenge.

"It's a great incentive to win the game and to go to the top but I don't want to build the expectation up too much.

"There is a danger when there is expectation that we don't fulfil that.

"So what we'll do is go out and try our best to win this football match, as we do in every game."

On the prospect of bolstering his squad in January, the Dons boss said: "We are always on the look-out, we haven't closed the door on the possible acquisition of players.

"To be fair, we'd have to consider saying to one or two that they could go.

"We are looking, believe me. We will never stop trying to improve the team."

One player who could be heading for the Pittodrie exit door is out of favour goalkeeper Jason Brown, who has been told he can leave for free.

Brown added: "Duncan [Fraser, chief executive], in consultation with the chairman and board, has told me if he gets a club and he wants to go, they will not look for any payment from the new club.

"I think that's generous. To waive these conditions and allow him to go as a free agent is very generous of the club."