Many – including this writer – were somewhat bemused to see Curtis Main swap Motherwell for Aberdeen during the summer.
The Englishman had a fairly decent first six months at Fir Park in which he scored eight times in 21 games. Memories of Main running riot against his current employer during a 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win for Motherwell will live long in the minds of most Well fans.
But that game was where it really peaked for him at Fir Park. He didn’t score after the split and contributed six goals over 37 games in the 2018/19 season, three of them coming in the League Cup before September.
It’s why eyebrows were raised when Derek McInnes opted to bring him to Pittodrie, some believing this was an odd signing. Three 90 minute displays in the Premiership prior to February with one goal to show from it out of 13 appearances overall suggested the doubters from his Motherwell days were going to have the last laugh.
With a bit of swagger and determination though, Main’s started to turn the tide over this past month. He’s replaced Sam Cosgrove as Aberdeen’s top man up front, no mean feat considering Cosgrove’s scored 23 goals this season.
The prolific frontman needed a break and Main’s snatched the opportunity to prove himself to McInnes. Five consecutive 90 minute runouts with three goals is a healthy return for a striker hungry to succeed.
He’s back to the form he showed in his early Fir Park days. Whilst goals have alluded Main since that period in 2018, one thing that has never been in question is his work ethic.
He runs tirelessly at defences for 90 minutes when given the opportunity, which can be hard to live with. His high-octane style of defending from the front has set the tone for how Aberdeen approach things in attack recently.
There’s a bit more energy up top with Main there. Whilst Cosgrove has been prolific this season, he can’t match the running power of Main, and that isn’t a criticism of him – it’s just that few can match Main’s willingness to run into the ground.
Hearing from the striker after the match against Hamilton in February, there was an inner-belief burning inside him. Main had been frustrated with a lack of opportunity in the first half of the season but isn’t letting that get him down.
Instead he seems to be using it as a way to power his Pittodrie dreams. With every loose ball chased and every bit of hold-up play, Main just seems to be growing in belief and confidence.
He’s winning round plenty of Aberdeen fans with his performances and it looks as if Main will be a key player for McInnes between now and May.