Sam Cosgrove insists he relishes the burden of being Aberdeen’s main goalscorer – but he has appreciated the help in recent weeks.
The striker went no more than two games without scoring before the winter break and netted his 21st of the season with a late penalty to knock Dumbarton out of the William Hill Scottish Cup last month.
But he then went seven matches without a goal before netting another crucial cup penalty in Wednesday’s dramatic 4-3 victory over Kilmarnock.
The 23-year-old’s importance to Aberdeen was underlined by the fact that the team did not find the net in the first of those five matches and Cosgrove was taken out of the team to relieve the pressure on him.
But, speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit of Ross County, Cosgrove said: “It was never a pressure that I didn’t enjoy. I relish the pressure of being the goalscorer at Aberdeen. I want to be that. I want to have that accolade.
“But it is good to see the goals coming from elsewhere and I suppose it does relieve a little bit of pressure on me.”
Cosgrove does not feel converting his pressure penalty, which levelled the fifth-round replay in the 119th minute, has lifted all of the weight off his shoulders.
“Once I start scoring a bit more freely I will do,” the former Carlisle forward said.
“It is tough as a striker when you find yourself in a barren patch. I have not had that for the last 12 months, I have been scoring relatively freely.
“I suppose it does play on your mind a little bit. But now I have that goal it should take a little bit of the weight off my shoulders and hopefully I have broken that duck.”
Curtis Main has started in place of Cosgrove in the past three matches but Derek McInnes has mooted the possibility of the pair lining up alongside each other, as they did following the manager’s three half-time changes at Killie.
Cosgrove said: “I think me and Curtis actually complement each other quite well. It is not just two big lads up front. From time to time we can both do the big man and the small number 10 role.
“As you saw during midweek, we complemented each other well for Matty’s goal. I have won the flick-on and Curtis has made the darting run and we got a goal from it.”