DFP Header

Scottish Cup Quarter Final | Derek McInnes

March 1, 2019 2:49 pm Author: AFC Media Team

The Latest Good News For The New Facilities

“While we were always hopeful and confident of the outcome of this morning it’s great to get it confirmed. We can push on with the completion of phase one. The work hadn’t stopped anyway and we were confident, but nonetheless there was still work to convince everyone and now that’s been the case this morning. We’re delighted with that as it’s a final hurdle that we needed to get over and we can now push on.

“We’ve always been engaging with the community and trying to make the training facilities as inclusive to everyone. Even people who have objected to it, we’ll still try engage with those people and try make it the community centre, as well as the training facility for the professional department, that we want it to be.

“There’s been an energy from the board and in particular the Chairman to drive this through and we’ve had long conversations. I’ve been here almost six years and I’ve been chewing his ear for long enough about trying to make sure, we feel we’re elite in most departments, but have achieved a lot in recent seasons despite not having facilities. From the professional side of it it’s very important from all our youth coaches and community coaches, my staff, my players and the younger players that we have these facilities.

“The momentum on the pitch that we’ve had has made this possible and it’s convinced the Chairman and board to drive on with this. Now that we’re making those huge steps towards it it’s great. Of course, I want to be a part of that and I don’t want to have to just make do with what we’ve been having to make do with over the last few years. My players are deserving of better facilities and Aberdeen as a club and as a community are deserving of far better facilities.”

Looking To The Rangers Match

“I think in terms of our league form our away form’s been fantastic and our home form’s been stuttering of late and that’s had an impact. We’re four points worse off from where we normally are at this stage of the league and we’ve missed a couple of opportunities of late to beat a couple of teams. Failing to beat St Mirren and Hamilton is bitterly disappointing and something I’m certainly not happy with.

“We’ve been in one cup final already and we’ve always said the cup competitions offer us the best chance to try and bring a trophy. We’re one of a few teams left who could win the trophy and that’s what we believe in.

“To win a cup you’re going to have to beat good teams. Rangers are a good team who are in good form at the minute, but it’s a fantastic game for us and one the players will be looking forward to and one the supporters will be looking forward to. It’ll bring the atmosphere that I want more of at Pittodrie anyway. There will be an energy and enthusiasm from the stands because of the opponent and that in turn will help the players. Only a few weeks ago we played against Rangers in a game that had a bit of everything. It’s a reminder to ourselves to keep the discipline on the pitch, but the level of performance can hopefully be good enough this time round to get through to the Semi-Final. That’s the intention.

“We’ve went into games against Rangers this season with them in good form. They’re a good side there’s no denying that and there’s been huge improvements in Rangers. They’ve got a huge and fantastic squad of players, but on the day you can only play eleven and we feel our eleven that’s selected are capable of doing a job. We’re waiting on a few to see if they can make it and we’ll give them every chance to make the game on Sunday. We take confidence from ourselves and the evidence is there that if we play well and play with concentration, keep the mistakes to a minimum, keep the organisation and have the confidence I want from an Aberdeen team then we are capable of winning this game.

“We’ve shown over the years and this season as well that we are capable of those big performances. It’ll take a big performance to beat them, but it’s a game for loads of reasons that we’re looking forward to.”

Keeping the Discipline

“There were ifs and buts (last time), but it’s a reminder to all my players that they’ve got an obligation and responsibility on the pitch. The game can be difficult to referee and the game can be full of aggression and the supporters demand that, but we’ve got to be careful. We sound like a broken record for this fixture, but you’ve got to keep your composure. Play with the fire in the belly that the game needs, but also play with your head and calmness.”

Threats Of Rangers

“Rangers have got some fantastic players and they’ve got players in good form at the minute. I’ve said it before Morelos is their star player. I think he’s got 28 goals in all competitions and there’s no doubting the boy’s a very good footballer. He’s the one that can make the difference for them in tight games, but they’ve also got more than that and it would be wrong to suggest that, but it would also be wrong to not highlight how good a player the boy is.”

Team News

“Both Max Lowe and James we’re hopeful of. Gary Mackay-Steven’s not been ruled out either so all three we’ll give every chance to be available. All three will need to train tomorrow if they’re going to play or be involved. We’re hopeful at the minute that maybe all three will make it. If not three hopefully two and it’s good to have those options. I felt we were a wee bit limited in terms of our options off the bench the other night where we needed to get that little spark. It is important that we have those options to turn to depending on how the game’s going.

The Loan Players

“You’re dammed if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t. I answered the questions here about not letting young players going out on loan and develop. Just because you lose a game doesn’t mean to say what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s nothing to do with that and we’ve got players here. When the window closed we made decisions that we could have a squad and we’ve been hit with a few injuries, more than we’d expected, but it’s good that Scott and Bruce have gone out on loan. The bigger positive is for them to go get that game experience and nobody will tell me any different.”

Greg Halford

“He’s not match fit clearly, but he’s been doing a level of training that keeps him ticking over. Nothing replicates game time and getting that match sharpness. We can’t pretend he’s not up to speed and he’s a good bit behind the lads, but he’s got the experience. I’m grateful for the board for allowing to bring one in because we’ve reacted to a situation. We went with the squad we went to try and help the budget, but the board have allowed us to bring Greg in. It gives us a bit of comfort that he’s there and we can work away in the background and try bring him up to speed. He’s available to at least play a part in it until we can get him nearer where our boys are in terms of conditioning work.”

He’s a player I know all about. He’s very experienced and very versatile – Greg will tell you that himself. He’s played most of his career as a right back, but can play left back, centre back and centre midfielder and 34 years of age now he’s got bags of experience. There’s no doubting he’s a player that’s handled a lot in his career and his part of a promotion winning team last year shows you the role he had in that. He’s a very confident player and will be desperate to be involved. The quicker he can get up to speed the more likely to be involved he’ll be. It’s good for me to have that comfort at the minute because you don’t know what’s around the corner. We’ve never anticipated having so many injuries and just when you think you’re making a bit of progress on that we get hit as we have done in recent weeks. It’s good we’ve got an addition to the squad with the level of experience that Greg has.”

Handling The Pressure At Home

“It would be a great answer (to the criticism with a win). There’s nothing wrong with people questioning if we can handle the pressure and I’m used to it. We’ve handled big games before. It’s probably the first time in my time here that you could aim at us the home form being a bit stuttering and not as convincing as we wanted it to be. The trade-off for that is the away form has been really good and it’s helped matters. There’s no doubting if we’re honest we’ve got to make sure we’re doing better at home and there’s no better game to go get a win than on Sunday.

“We’re keen to win the cup and it’s not just the next game, but there’ obviously a lot more made of it because it’s Rangers. You’re going to have to face good teams to get to a final and we’ve got a chance to put a good team out and show we’re a good team ourselves.

“We’re not really thinking too much about last Wednesday and we’re just thinking about the game. It’ll take care of itself in terms of the build-up, the excitement and the anticipation. My players will show they’re ready on Sunday.”

Official Club Sponsor

UAV Technology & Analysis Partner