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The Manager | Post Match reaction after QF win

March 14, 2018 2:56 am Author: AFC Media Team

The Manager’s RedTV interview is available on the red button. Below are his post match quotes from the press conference.

“I’m very happy.

“It was a fiercely contested game and I thought both sets of players were totally committed to getting into the Semi-Final. They never left anything on the pitch.

“It’s been a long time since I seen Rugby Park with such an atmosphere. I remember coming here playing in Tommy Burns’ era and even then, tonight was pretty special.

“It’s probably a testament to the work done here. Kilmarnock fans probably came into the game with as much or more belief as the Aberdeen fans because we knew this was going to be tricky. Both sets of players believed they would go into a Semi-Final.

“We’ve edged a very tough tie as Kilmarnock’s form in the league has been outstanding, so I think any team that’s playing against them has to earn the win.

“I thought the response from the players, especially from going behind was fantastic. I thought their goal was a foul on Shay Logan in the build up from Eamon Brophy. But O’Donnell deserves so much credit for sprinting from his own box and sticking it in at our box. They took advantage of that (refereeing) decision, but the response was there from us.

“McLean smacks the bar and we’ve created a bit of territory with May playing on the shoulder and we’ve created one or two problems and keeping tired defenders on their toes and we also got the penalty.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

“I thought in extra time while they made their chances, Erwin and Brophy were always keeping you on your toes and we got the break with the offside goal. I’ve seen it again and he was marginally offside.

“I thought in the second period of extra time we really tried to go out and win the game, but the game probably deserved to go to penalty kicks.

“I said to the players don’t buy into this being a lottery. It’s about concentration, technique, confidence and mentality. The good thing from my point of view was that I had a list of five and I was confident all five would score, but there was probably seven or eight of them that wanted in that first five.

“It shows their mentality. I think the experience of the team showed in that period. I said to the boys that the keeper would save a couple and just concentrate on wherever you want to stick it. I was really confident in all five and the two or three behind them and I was surprised McGinn missed.

“Again, it’s not a lottery. It’s tough and I’ve been there myself. I’ve scored and missed in these situations and it’s tough, but I thought the confidence of the players was evident. We dealt with that situation very well and that’s the only thing that’s separated a very tough tie.

“Suspensions will probably be the frustration when I wake up tomorrow, but for now I’m not even thinking about it. I think it’s a harsh rule I must admit, especially when you go to a replay and then extra time so there’s more minutes. You see it’s a quarter-final, fully committed, blood and thunder at times and there’s going to be bookings.

“It’s difficult when players get punished for that for a semi-final stage.

“We’ll look forward to it when it comes round and it’s our sixth semi-final in five years and this club struggled to even get to semi-finals for years so we’ll try and use that experience going into the game with our without those players. Hopefully we find a way to win against Motherwell. They’ve had that experience this season already in doing so well to get to a final and again I don’t think there will be much in the game and hopefully we get the result that takes us to Hampden for another final.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes at full time

“Like I say I think two booking system is harsh when it’s gone to a replay and you’re involved in three or four games. Hopefully we can get the result and the boys will be available for the final. I know they’ve done away with the semi-final rule so players make a final. I’ve witnessed teammates miss out on finals because of that and that’s a blessing now that it’s not the case. Motherwell will probably be pleased we’ve got a few missing.

“Kenny McLean tonight was ridiculously good. Even he knew at half time that he was missing the semi-final and we had a word with him, made sure he was alright. We were frustrated we weren’t passing the ball about as well, but he scored the penalty, he hit the bar, was influential and celebrated as much as everyone tonight.

“I thought it was a proper team performance tonight and we were searching for a big result. We haven’t beaten the Old Firm and that’s a big result in the eyes of everyone at our club. We’ve been searching for a result to kick start the momentum again and sometimes the cups can give you exactly that. We’re looking to get to another final and if we can get to three finals out of four in the last two years that’s good shooting from Aberdeen and hopefully we can go all the way.

“I’ve never really doubted their character. They’re honest hardworking boys and we’ve had better performances. We’re searching for better individual performances especially in those forward and attacking areas where we feel we need to do more to get that consistency. That’s why we’re here.

“This is my first year with this squad. Last year we were inches away from winning the Scottish Cup. That was three or four years of building a squad, working towards that and the culmination came with the end game for that squad last year (in the Scottish Cup final) and we were inches away. We were a pass away from winning a Scottish Cup and we had to try and address that and rebuild. Some will come with us and some will move on and the intention is to build another squad that makes us as competitive and hopefully we can maintain our standards as we go along.

“A lot of people who have turned up tonight would have had the decision to come or not and it was difficult. We thank them and they’ve been rewarded for that in seeing a fully committed winning performance. I was delighted for my players, but it’s always pleasing to reward that loyalty from the support.”

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