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Rd4 | Ladbrokes Premiership | The Manager | Kilmarnock Preview

August 30, 2018 4:08 pm Author: AFC Media Team

Derek McInnes spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of the game against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

On Max Lowe

“I’ve been looking for that position to be filled as it gives us that option to play left back and left wing back. At times we’ve been over-reliant on just Andy (Considine) and Shinnie in there, but we’d like to keep Shinnie in the midfield as much as we can. Graeme likes to see himself as a midfield player as well. He gives us good options and we’ve been looking for that type of player.

“Max is someone we identified in the close season and with the change of manager there, we’ve been speaking to Frank and I know Jody Morris there too. We’ve been liaising with them over the last wee while. He’s a player that we feel will do very well here. He gives us good athleticism in that position.

“He’s quick and has the potential to go on and have a very good career. He’s just signed a new deal yesterday at Derby and they have a high regard for him, but they’ve got one or two that can play in that position and may be ahead of him in terms of experience. They see this as an important loan so hopefully it works out for everybody.

“Max himself is itching to get going and once he was aware of the interest it was something that he was really keen to see through.

“I’ve spoken to his manager and I’ve spoken to Jody and we know exactly what they think of him. When we asked the question in the close season he had impressed in the summer and was maybe one we couldn’t get done.

“They’ve obviously got a big squad there, and that change of thought of a loan move being good for him, and getting that experience playing first team football rather than sitting on their bench and playing every now and then.

“He’s got a challenge now to come and play regular football for us, but we’ve brought him because we feel he’s good enough to go and do that. We’re delighted to get him and he’s a lovely boy, which always helps and he’s very professional. He’s well grounded and has a focus on his career so for us we’ve got a player we wanted and he’s a good addition for us.

“He’s here to be involved and trained very well today. He played part of the game on Tuesday and had a hard training session at Derby during the week. The intention is to come here and be involved and whether that’s from the start on Saturday remains to be seen.

“On the basis that he’s played a few games for Derby already, the manager fancies him as well and he thinks he’s got an opportunity there. That flexibility for Derby was important to recall him or maybe extend it (beyond January) and we’ll see how it goes. For now, he’s with us and we’re pleased and hopefully he can go and show how good a player he can be for the club.”

Any other transfer business?

“I’d imagine that would be us.

“The squad is looking quite strong, we’ve had a few injuries to contend with so Max helps settle us down in that defensive side of it. Centre forward we look fine and we’ve got good options in wide areas so we’re in a position we’ll go as we are. Things can change, and we like lots of players, but I’ve also got to make sure we give everyone in this squad the opportunity to go and show themselves. I’m hopeful this is us, regardless whether clubs want to look at our players, but at this late stage it’s not something we’d give any encouragement.”

Injury updates

“Scott McKenna is looking to get himself fit and hopefully he’ll be fit for the St Johnstone game when we come back.

“On further investigation it looks as though Scott Wright has damaged ligaments and could be out for six weeks or so, which is unfortunate for him and us especially after how brilliant he was against St Mirren a couple of weeks ago. These things are set to try us and it’s a blow for Scott himself because it was such a good performance and we were keen to bring him back in against Hibs last week. He’ll probably be out until we go into the next international break so unfortunately, he’ll miss the next period of games.

“Mark Reynolds is out long term and Tommie Hoban’s a doubt for the game with a shoulder injury he picked up from on Saturday.

“Niall McGinn’s back full training and he’s in a better place now. Everyone’s had a good week and hopefully that’ll be the squad to get the job done.”

Graeme Shinnie Scotland Call-Up

“I spoke to Alex after the two games (Scotland matches in the summer) and a few times since and Shinnie made an impression and it’s great to see him in after starting the season so strong. The Burnley games, he was very influential and it’s great for him to be back in that squad. Hopefully he can continue to establish himself there and everyone’s delighted for him.”

Kilmarnock

“There’s a familiarity about the shame of Steve’s Kilmarnock team. They did very well last season and have an expectation to go and do exactly the same this year. They’ve made some good signings and have a very strong squad and a squad that showed their capabilities last year. We have got to be mindful of the threat they have on the counter-attack and centre forward area if they get chances. What we do expect is a really competitive and organised Kilmarnock as they’ve been under Steve. They’ve managed to get good results, so I wouldn’t expect that to change too much. We’re going to have to play well to get the job done.

“We’ve kept in touch with Greg (Stewart) and it’s a great addition for Kilmarnock. Greg’s a very talented player and I think he showed in the latter part of the season for us his true potential. He’s been kicking his heels at Birmingham and not been given the opportunity. We enjoyed working with him last year, but we feel we need to give that room for Scott and Frank to really establish themselves and try and get more game time otherwise Greg may have been someone we’d have been keen to work with again. He was a great boy to work with and we wish him well, obviously we don’t want him to play as well on Saturday and hopefully he doesn’t reach his full potential until further down the line!”

Opening games

“If we can get into that first international break with eight points from twelve having played Rangers and Hibs away it would be a decent return and as well in the quarter-final of the cup. It would be a good solid start. I think if we can get the three points it’s exactly what it would have been. We’ve had injuries to contend with and the uncertainty of the transfer window as well. If we could close with another three points going into the international break with eight point out of twelve then I’d be fairly pleased with that. There’s plenty to look forward to.

“When you go so close to getting all three points, especially at a tough venue then it is a bit of a blow when you don’t get the job done. For long periods I felt we were going to get the job done. Joe didn’t have a lot to do second half and we put a lot of work into it. We came away with a point and in the cold light of day it’s not the worst result. I think Hibs will be up there again this year, so I think the motivation is just to go and win the game on Saturday regardless of the previous result. If we can get that three points it’ll help make that look a better point than it was.”

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