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The Manager | Betfred Cup QF Preview

September 24, 2018 3:55 pm Author: AFC Media Team

Team News

“Everybody’s fine. Niall McGinn felt his groin a wee bit and Gary Mackay-Steven took a couple of kicks as you’d expect, but nothing to suggest either would miss tomorrow night’s game. Both will travel with the squad and we’ve added young Frank Ross to the squad as well from the weekend. He’s managed to train yesterday and will do so today, and we’ll travel down tonight hopefully with a fully fit squad bar the ones that we spoke about last week.”

Recapping the Motherwell Match

“It was all about winning and getting the job done against a team that are very competitive and don’t make it very easy for yourself. Once we got that first goal, a very good goal as well from James, I thought we kind of had a good control of the game and ideally, we’d like to have gotten the second goal. We spoke about that at half time, that we didn’t want to be playing the last five minutes for 45 minutes. We wanted to try and carry a threat and I think we handled everything Motherwell threw at us. I thought we were pretty comfortable for the majority of it and ideally, we’d like to have added more goals. Before the game we would have taken the three points, a clean sheet and a goal from James. There’s lots of positives with young Bruce and Dean coming off the bench and playing their part in a win. It’s just important we realise we’ve had one poor result since the start of the season and it’s important we just knuckle down and get wins under our belts. We got the first one on Saturday and we go on into the cup one and we said last week it’s an important week for us so it’s good to go into this one on the back of a clean sheet and getting all three points.”

James Wilson

“He’s a real technical player, but unlike a lot of technical players he’s got that speed and certainly in that centre forward position he can cause defenders problems. What you did see was a lovely take with his first touch and he gets into that left side you feel it’s a goal or at least he hit’s the target. It’s a great feeling to have. For himself by his own admission he’s obviously got a long way to go to where we want to get to but while he’s on the pitch I think he showed a little flavour of what he can potentially give us. Ultimately, he got us the all-important goal that gets all three points and that’s invaluable for any team, but certainly for us searching for more goals and to have that threat. I think behind that he was ably supported, and it was a good debut for him. It was good for the supporters to get to see him on the pitch because everybody’s been anticipating him being here. We feel we’ve adjusted the squad, but certainly that position was one we felt was important to us.”

The Premiership

“Other than Hearts it’s very congested in there with only a couple of points separating a lot of teams, but it’s too early to tell and too early to make any assumptions about who’s going to be where. I think what you are seeing is that teams are stronger across the board. Livingston as a newly promoted team have set about their task well and I think there’s a lot of good managers operating in the league. Wins will be harder to come by and that would include Celtic and Rangers. They are clear favourites to be winning the title anyway I’d imagine because of what they’ve been allowed to spend, but it shows what can be done. We just want to make sure we’re as competitive as we’ve always been and if it is going to be tighter and a fewer points tally that wins the league then hopefully we can be in amongst it, but I do need to stress it’s too early to be making assumptions on who’s going to do what.”


“When the tie was drawn we all said it was a tough one, but one we’d be relishing and looking forward to. That’s exactly what it is, and Hibs go into the game a couple of points ahead of us in the league and off the back of a 3-0 away victory. I’m sure they’ll be very confident going into the game, but we back ourselves. We go down there, and I don’t think there will be much between the teams. We’ve already been down there and drawn and I think we saw some good of us in that performance, but also a lot of good in Hibs. For us to beat Hibs we have to play very well and it’s important we just manage our own game. Everybody tries to bring that level of performance and collectively try and bring a strong team performance that will hopefully get the job done. To get a place in the Semi-Final you normally have to beat good teams and that’s exactly what we’re going to try and do.”

“It’s a different challenge. We go down there as the away team and against a team who ordinarily score a lot of goals and the game can be quite open when you play Hibs at times. Neil is a bit like myself this season in that we’ve had to make changes to the squad and adjustments with key players being moved on, but the suggestion is they are still going to be up there again this season. We are aware of their strengths and the players that can cause us problems and it’s important we try and deny space and opportunities for ones who can score goals. At the same time like any game you need to get the balance right between us being attacking and defending. We’ve got to go there and show ourselves. We managed to play a certain way and deal with Motherwell’s threat on Saturday and hopefully we can come up with the answers and I’m sure we are more than capable doing that against Hibs.

The Cup

“We’re in the cup competitions to try and win it and we want to try and go all the way and give ourselves a shot at it. Last season, although we reached one Semi-Final, we felt really disappointed in our efforts in the cup. It’s important that we try and take the opportunity that’s there in front of us. Every team going into it thinks we’re two games away from a cup final and every team going into it will believe it’s their time. We feel again this season we can keep getting those improved performances from individuals and hopefully when the final comes around we’re taking part in that. There’s nothing worse than watching two other teams taking part in another final and you’re watching from the side. It’s important we see the bigger picture when you’re going into these games and realise it’s an opportunity for us to go and try make our mark in the club’s history by winning a trophy. That’s always the way we view it and we do feel that we’re one of the teams that can go all the way.

“I think when you go away from home against a club that are clearly going in the right direction, Hibs have a fantastic support who believe in the team, you have to withstand that and keep that crowd quiet. The only way to do that is by playing well, taking responsibility, getting on the ball, moving the ball well and carrying a threat. What we’ve got to do tomorrow, when you come up against the better teams that have more threats than others is have a confident approach and make sure we cause them problems. I feel I’ve got players that should relish the stage that tomorrow night’s going to bring. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be close to a full house and the game is live on TV. The pitch will be good, the atmosphere will be good and there’s lots at stake. That’s the type of games an Aberdeen game should want to be part of and want to win. That’s what we’re hoping for tomorrow.”

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes speaks to the press prior to his side’s Betfred Cup quarter final against Hibernian.

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