Rijeka Post Match | The Manager’s Press Quotes
The penalty incident
“The player goes down. There is no danger, the ball sails into Joe’s hands.
“So it all seemed very unnecessary for me. Whether it is a penalty or not, I can’t be certain. It certainly was not a dangerous situation.
“It just compounds the disappointment.
“I thought at that stage, 62 minutes in, I thought they were huffing and puffing. I though their crowd were maybe getting a little bit restless. And the game was quite uneventful for me and that was suiting us. I felt very comfortable, Joe only had one save to make up to that point, in the first half.
“The penalty seemed to be a bit of a gift for them.”
“It is clearly not an ideal scoreline to be taking back to Aberdeen.
“But if the roles were reversed, if we had won the first leg at Pittodrie 2-0, I would still think there was work to do.
“I still think the tie is alive.
“It is far more difficult than it was from the outset, but we have shown already at Pittodrie this season at home that we have brought big performances.
“We have showed plenty of quality and it will need that and more against a better opponent. They are clearly a good side. I said that before the game – and I meant it with the greatest of respect. Compared with the previous Rijeka team we played, this one has more athleticism, more physicality about them.
“I think the changes their manager made tonight, bringing two more powerful players into the team to play us maybe suggests that.
“I feel that a lot of things need to go our way next week.
“Although we are down and we are disappointed, we don’t feel that we are out of the tie.
“We take encouragement from previous home performances this season.
“We know that if we can get an early goal then it is game on.
“Clearly they are in the box seat and in charge of the fixture, but we still have the opportunity to change that.”
More of an attacking threat
“You have always got to get the balance right between attacking and defending.
“If you don’t give away the cheap penalty, you would say a lot of the work was right tonight.
“And I still think we did a lot of good work.
“I thought my back four were fantastic tonight. I thought McKenna and Considine really dealt with a good striker for the vast majority of the game. We showed the defensive qualities of the team for the vast majority of the game.
“You cannot be too open or too expansive away from home.
“We maybe get an opportunity to show more of an attacking threat next week and we know, as we have shown already this season, if we can find that quality and verve to our attacking play then we will cause them problems.”
“We had the team meeting at the hotel. Scott McKenna has his game head on. It was probably a bit of a relief and release for him to concentrate on the game. His performance tonight shows clearly why there is interest in him. It is why myself and everyone thinks so highly of him.
“His performance, he was on it tonight.
“He was really focussed and that is a testament to him.
“He has been through the ringer the last little while. And he has had a lot to contend with. He has had a lot of people in his ear and he has had a lot to consider and no shortage of disappointment probably.
“But he channelled it the right way.
“McKenna is only going one way.
“He is only going to the top for me.
“He showed tonight how important he is for us and while he is still an Aberdeen player he will keep delivering those types of performances, the type of performances he has put in since he came into the team.
“I was told there was a phone call from one other Championship club but it was not an offer. It was just an indication that they might put in an offer but it would have been too late today. We had a game to prepare for. When he woke up today he was not going anywhere.”
“Zak coming in gives us another defender in the building. We only had six senior defenders and we had three of them injured at the one time.
“I have said often enough that I have always liked a couple of centre defenders in my squad who can play full back. Andy can do it, Zak can do it.
“He gives us competition, he gives us a bit more flexibility, he gives us good options, but he is also a good size. He uses the ball well and he has good pace. I think he will prove his worth to us. I am delighted to get him in.
“I am grateful to the club that we have been able to bring him in.”
“Michael deserves so much credit. He has pushed and pushed to get on that plane despite only having on training session under his belt.
“The way things were playing out over the last 48 hours, we might have needed him.
“It is testament to him that he has managed to get here and be available.
“And the same with Zak, who had a bit of a journey to get here this afternoon. He showed his determination to get here as well and thankfully so.
“It is good to have more options, especially with the game coming up on Sunday.”