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Derek McInnes | Semi-final reaction

April 14, 2018 7:21 pm Author: AFC Media Team

 

Quotes from the Hampden Post Match Media Conference

“Disappointed. I expected more.

“In terms of the game, I felt there was concern when you have to make so many changes, playing players who have not been playing and seeing how they settle into the game.

“I actually thought we settled ok. Nothing more than that. I thought we bedded our way into the game without really showing the aggression and imposing ourselves on it.

“I thought we dealt with their longer ball up pretty well in that opening period, as we have done when we have beaten Motherwell in the past. The first time we really don’t deal with it they get in and score. Arnason should maybe do better off the goalkeepers kick and Dominic Ball should be in a better position to deal with the next one. But it is a handball. The referee is more responsible for that first goal. Tait clearly knocks the ball on with his arm into his path. And whilst Dominic should not stop, I don’t think he would have been able to recover that situation. Between the five officials who were working today, you would think they would manage to get that one right.

“The first goal was always going to be very important.

“Where I am disappointed with my team, there has been a pattern in certain games this season where we have lost the first goal and then we have quickly lost another one. That for me is down to mental focus and concentration and not letting a poor situation become an even more difficult one.

“I thought at the time it was a foul on Arnason for the second goal. Having seen it again, it is not. I think we should deal with that better.

“So there are some individual mistakes there for the first two goals as well as the officials being part of it.

“We then take a gamble.

“Mackay-Steven and McGinn were ruled out on Monday for starting the game. Both were doubtful for making the squad but they did a bit of work yesterday, so I was just grateful both travelled and were able to take a place on the bench. But at 2-0 down and going out of the cup we made the changes. Chidi was one we were going to do but he got injured anyway. We also took Dominic off to be as attacking as we could.  

“I thought we were still in the game at that stage. We moved the ball about but we were not as convincing as we should be with the talent that we had on the pitch. We passed up a couple of decent opportunities and then the third goal knocks any momentum we had at that stage or any chance of getting back in it.

“It is a poor mistake again.

“There are three individual mistakes in the game. I thought we had some decent chances and some decent play, but the level of performance was not anywhere near good enough and the plaudits go to Motherwell. They deservedly got into the final.

“We have five games of the season left now. They will be five good games if we turn up and actually bring a performance that we are capable of. It is still in our hands to finish second and Hibs and Rangers will be saying the exact say. It will be some sort of consolation if we can finish second. The fact we are still talking about finishing second at this stage of the season shows the players have done a lot of good work but today there was a real opportunity in front of us and we did not take it.

“I said I would not use the players that were not available to us as an excuse, but I think it was clear today that we struggled to replace like of like.

“Where I take responsibility – I don’t take responsibility in terms of the performance, me and my staff have worked really hard and prepared the team well, and the manager and his staff cannot legislate for mistakes; where I take more responsibility is in the recruitment in both transfer windows.

“Sometimes you don’t know till you know, but today smacked me between the eyes that the strength of the squad was not good enough. Sometimes that happens when key players are missing.

“Every team has those key players who are pivotal to what the team produce week in week out. We have had a strong league campaign again, and the players deserve credit for that, but when the opportunity came along today I think we did not have the answers really that a club like Aberdeen should have.

“And that is where I take the responsibility as we put together a squad that we think can cope with every eventuality. Today and other games this season, the recruitment and the decisions we have made in both windows has come back to bite us.

“There will be another big turnaround this summer. We have already lost Kenny and we have a few loan players. So there will be a big recruitment needed in the summer. We want to keep the standards that we have been used to over the past few years.

“Certainly over the next five games we can still keep those standards and hopefully we can be good enough. I will be delighted to get the three boys back who missed today. The risk of playing McGinn today may well cause him problems going forward for the next few games and also the same might be the case for Mackay-Steven.

“I did not play the team I wanted to play today. We played the team that needed to be played and unfortunately it was not good enough.

“If you are captain of Aberdeen at his age then that is a huge positive for Scott. It is huge recognition for him. He is disappointed with his part in the second goal, but I would take eleven of him. He is made of the right stuff. His capacity and responsibility is fantastic and that was why he was captain today. He is a brilliant boy and he is of the standard we need in other areas if we want to keep pushing on.

“I know what needs to be done. I know what needs to be improved on. I have probably known for a while now. It is easier to get these things done in the summer.

“We have missed a huge opportunity today. Without looking too far ahead, I only mentioned it because I want to take some of the responsibility for what happened today in terms of the recruitment. Like I say sometimes you don’t know till you know. You can keep giving people chances and opportunities. I am used to having a better standard of performance than that.”     

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