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September 28, 2018 1:39 pm Author: AFC Media Team

League Cup Semi-Finals

“It first got muted that idea yesterday morning coming into the club. There’s always concerns, and I don’t think we’re ever going to get a perfect scenario with the fact our supporters have to travel to Glasgow. It’s always the case when we get to Semi-Finals and Finals and we’re well used to that. I just find it really unfair and I’d reiterate the statement that the club have put out yesterday. For them to get there for the earlier kick off just makes it all the more problematic for us and I’m sure in that decision-making process that would have been taken into account, but it doesn’t seem to be important enough. The difficulties are our supporters are now going to face to get there for such an important game in our season.

“I’m not surprised because it seems to be the way time and time again. Any requests or complaints we have about that situation doesn’t seem to be working or affective.

“We’re here to talk about the Celtic game obviously, but when the Semi-Final comes around I’m just hoping that there’s a real solidarity with us and the supporters that we do get them down there and find ways. Whether that’s getting into some sort of negotiation with the train companies as we want to get as many Aberdeen supporters there. It is a special day as it’s a Semi-Final. I know we’ve had plenty of them in recent years, but it’s still that one step away from getting to that cup final and we need everybody on board. I’m hoping that everybody, while their first reaction may be “stuff it I’m not going” or a retaliation to the league, it’s important we go there together with a huge support and try get the result on the day.

“I totally understand the frustration and anger towards the decision.”

Quarter Final Reflection

“Results like the other night can galvanise a squad. This is a new squad and you have to go through ups and downs and through certain situations. I think the players who scored the penalty kicks, it can give them added confidence. It’s all about building at the start of the season and building those relationships and team spirit. We’ve got good players, but to be a good team you need to come through things and I think that’s something we managed to accomplish the other night against a good Hibs team. Not many teams go there and keep a clean sheet and we’ve kept a clean sheet against them for 120 minutes.

“It shows we’re doing a lot right and although Hibs had lots of chances I thought we defended well in general. Hopefully we can do that and when you play against good teams it’s about getting that balance between attacking a defending right. We got it right at the last game of the season at Parkhead and we defended with a lot of confidence and played with a lot of assurance. It’ll need that again, but it’s a great game for us. They came bouncing in the door this morning relishing the chance to get another result for the club. That competitive edge of my team really was really pleasing as well as the strength and courage.”

Celtic

“I think it’s been a good week until now and a brilliant week would be getting the result at Celtic Park.

“I sat here last week and talked about the importance of the three games. The first one was three points against Motherwell, getting through the cup tie and now trying to deal with Celtic, which is always difficult. I’m pleased with getting through the tie and I’m pleased with a lot of what we’re getting from the players. Good resilience, a decent level of performance and we’re still searching for those perfect performances and we’re working towards that. Hopefully by getting one or two back in the next two weeks will help as well.

“With two clean sheets in a row now, I think if we’re going to get a result our defensive part of the game has to be really strong again. We won last time out there at Celtic Park and we know it can be done, but we’re well aware of the challenge. A lot has been made of Celtic’s start and it goes with the territory when big clubs don’t win games, but it’s very early in the season for people to be writing people off and for me Celtic are still the team to beat. They’ve got a manager and the players who have done it time and time again. A lot of the questions have been a bit premature, but understandably when they don’t win games the criticism comes. They are a top side full of top players and I think our players will relish the challenge going down there. We know we have to play well to get some sort of result and hopefully we can do that on Saturday.

“Celtic can only play eleven anyway and they still have the attacking threats of Forrest, Griffiths, Edeourd and Rogic as well as some of the younger ones that Brendan’s trying to integrate this year.

“Ryan Christie we are well aware of and he’d be playing in my team so that shows you the challenge that we face. They might not be firing on all cylinders, but it’s still early on in the season and sometimes it can only take one game to kick start it. Watching them the other night you could see the spirit of Celtic to get the job done and I thought there were signs there that they are not for moving. They still have that ability to win games even when they aren’t at their best, but I’m sure when they get somewhere near their best they’ll be difficult to stop. Hopefully we can try and play a part in making them not at their best tomorrow and give them problems. If it’s a tight game with few chances at both ends hopefully we can be the ones that can take ours.”

The Strikers

“James Wilson surprised us all with being able to last so long the other night. We had a plan of maybe two 60 minutes and then see how he felt going into this game, but for him to have played the 90 minutes showed good determination and resilience. He was desperate to stay on the pitch and get a goal and he’ll feel the benefit of playing his part in getting results. It’s great to see him with a smile on his face and the recognition from the supporters in both games and his contribution the other night is only going to help him. James playing in a good frame of mind is only going to help him.

“Stevie May scored against St Mirren a few weeks ago here and he was outstanding in the game and he was one of the ones that volunteered straight away on Tuesday. I’ve known Stevie a long time. I remember a youth cup game when he was 14 years old playing U18 football. He’s always had that inner confidence and sometimes players are just human and looking for different moments to get themselves going. I was confident he would score his penalty, he was confident and hopefully he can use that like others. Hopefully Stevie can kick on from that as well.

Squad Fatigue

“The squad is quite tight so we’re not getting the luxury of freshening up too much. Celtic played 24 hours after us so maybe (fatigue) would show if it had been the Wednesday night. We had it with the Burnley game when we had to come back and play Rangers and I think we’d left our legs down in Burnley that day. It was too much to play at the tempo what was required against a good team. Celtic are another good team, so I can’t say it’s not concern but hopefully that extra 24 hours can help us. There’s a kind of energy when you get a positive result there’s a positive energy and the players are feeling that. They’ll be fine for the game I’m pretty sure.”

 

Friday 28th September 2018, Aberdeen, Scotland. Aberdeen FC Press conference ahead of the Ladbrokes SPFL Premiership match against Celtic on Saturday afternoon.
Pictured: Derek McInnes
(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

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