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The Manager | Rangers Preview

May 7, 2018 5:03 pm Author: AFC Media Team

Sir Alex

“It was a real shock on Saturday night after the fallout of the game when I heard the news about Sir Alex like everybody else. I saw it on the ticker tape about Darren missing the game and that was my first thought to be honest and then the news came through. The fact we know him and his character he’s got a chance to fight it and I’m sure everybody will be doing all they can. Here’s hoping he can come through it because you see the outpour in affection and good will towards him. Having got to know him over the last few years and watched from the outside and seeing how strong a manager he was, what’s clear is his determination to pull through will certainly help him. Everybody connected with the club has got the same warm wishes towards him and hopefully he can pull through. We can all stay positive and say a prayer for him and hopefully we can get a positive outcome.”

Europe

“I think when you get down to the last couple of games the fact you have something to play for is encouraging. There’s no real room for error now with two games to go and I’m rubbing my hands at the fact we’ve got a chance to play Rangers again and hopefully we can win the game. We know by winning the game it’s a huge step forward to what we want to do this season. If we can secure European football with a win tomorrow, it’s brilliant. That’s always the first objective through our league form to secure European football as quickly as possible. Normally we’ve done it by now, but the league is that bit more competitive this year as there’s two very strong teams round about us. It’s a real opportunity for us and hopefully we can go and take it and I’m confident we are going to be that team to get the job done.”

07/05/18
ABERDEEN TRAINING
Aberdeen Manager Derek McInnes.

Individual performances

“I think we’ve got to make sure we perform individually. As a team we can set up how we want to be and there won’t be too many surprises by the way Rangers play and how we play in terms of formation and the tactical side of it is what it is. I think a lot of these games against the bigger teams or teams around you with plenty good players normally it comes down to those individual performances and that’s what we’re hoping for tomorrow night.

“Hopefully we can have better individual performances certainly in those attacking areas for us and in the wider areas of the pitch and hopefully we can be more of a threat to cause them problems. Rangers have the potential to score goals, we’ve seen that this season, so we understand they’ve got threats but also us having to make sure we’ve got the confidence and determination to bring that performance we’re capable of individually. If we can do that we’ve got the players that can cause them problems and that’s what I’m hoping for from our point of view and normally these types of games come down to the attacking players doing their job properly.”

Rangers

“I think it’s probably helped Rangers (with the Gerrard news) in the sense there’s clarity now. It’s such a huge name for Scottish football and as players I’m sure they will still be keen to play their part, but he’s their fourth manager in 18 months and these players have been part of that. It tells you it’s not all just down to the manager. The manager has a huge part to play at a club, but he can’t play the game for them. We’re just making sure we can bring our level of performance regardless of who the Rangers manager is, but there’s no doubting the broader question of Steven Gerrard coming into Scottish can only help the Scottish game. What a fantastic player he was, and I think he brings that level of spotlight to the league and that can only help us in various factors.”

Team News

“McLean is back thankfully after suspension. McGinn’s a doubt unfortunately and Gary Mackay-Steven will miss tomorrow after he took a knock on Saturday and we got him off at we thought the right time, but like yesterday he’s struggling. We’ll try and make do with what we’ve got. We’ve got good players there. Nwakali comes back into the squad and McLean back is big. I thought we missed his composure and quality in possession of the ball on Saturday and to have Kenny back is brilliant news for me.”

Lewis Ferguson

“Lewis is a good age and I said at the time we can’t always buy ready made players. He’s only played nine or ten games at first team level for Hamilton, but he’s someone who I liked as soon as I saw him. I saw him a few years back when he played against our Development team and we’ve watched him a bit closer, myself, the staff and scouts and he’s someone we quite like in terms of what he gives. He’s 6ft’1, a good age to develop, he’s got good technical ability, good with both feet and good balance. He can go beyond the strikers and can do a bit of everything. I like my midfielders to be like that and not as just sitting or attacking. Someone that can do a bit of everything.

“He’s only potential, but there’s enough potential there for us to make that commitment to him and hopefully we can help develop Lewis as we go along. I’m just looking forward to getting the chance to work with him. For now, he’s Hamilton’s player and I’m conscious they’ve got their own battles to fight at the minute, so I don’t want talk too much about it, but in general terms we feel he’s the type of signing we should be making more of at Aberdeen. To get good youngsters because we can’t always go and get ready made players with bags of experience.”

Sam Cosgrove

“We want all our younger players to be in a hurry to get on and not just be happy at getting bits and pieces and happy to be involved in big games at a good club. We want them all to be in a hurry to be what they’re going to be and Sam is similar to Lewis. There’s not too much pressure on him, but we feel there’s enough there for him to have a big part to play for us. He gives us something a bit different in terms of the size of him. He’s got good mobility, he’s got good feet and he can finish, but he’s raw and inexperienced so I think would be wrong to expect too much of him, but at the same time he’s adjusted to a better professional environment. He’s got himself fitter and strong and I think he’s totally embracing how we work and we’re seeing the benefits of that in the last couple of games. Hopefully we continue to work with him and continue to get a more all-round performance from him as we go along.”

Anthony O’Connor

“Michael Devlin is one we signed for next season as well as Ferguson and Cosgrove so we’re starting to fill in the blanks. There’s going to be a lot of players moving on like the ones that are out of contract and the loan players going back so we’ve got work to do. There’s still a lot more work to do and we’re losing a few key players and it’s important that we try address that side of it and the work is always ongoing. Although we don’t have anything else to announce at the minute hopefully we can over the next few weeks.

“Anthony will move on. We exhausted that a few weeks ago. We signed Devlin and we’ll look at other options as well, but the opportunity for Anthony to want to be here was there, but he’s decided to way up his options at the end of the season. I’m fine with that if wants to go back down South. I think he’s done well for me. I’ve enjoyed working with him and his level of performance has been good. I think he should stay and hang about and it would do his career no harm, but it’s entirely up to him. He’s a big boy and it’s his decision.”

07/05/18
PITTODRIE PRESS ROOM
Aberdeen Manager Derek McInnes

Second

The time for reflection is always at the end of the season and we’re still looking at the next fixture. When it’s the post-split the games come thick and fast and the nature of the game demands your full attention. Hopefully we can look back as the second-best team in the country through our league form. We’ve been proud of that fact and ourselves and Hibs certainly would be hugely disappointed to come this close and not finish second. I think for Rangers it’s a bit more than that.

“With what they’ve spent it would be a bit more embarrassing not to finish second, but for us and Hibs and certainly for our own sake there would be huge disappointment if we don’t finish second. We’re not thinking that way. I’ve got it clear in my head we’re going to do what needs to be done to get the job done to finish second.

“As Neil Lennon said the other day it will feel like winning the league for them because we all feel at the minute we’re not in a league that we can win with the strength of Celtic. To be the next best team should be celebrated by clubs like ourselves and Hibs. We’ve enjoyed being the second-best team the past few seasons and we’ve fought off a lot of good teams to be that and if we’re going to fight off the teams again we’re going to have to make sure we get the job done tomorrow night.”

Belief

“They should be confident. I need confident players at Aberdeen and I need players that back their ability. I want them to be in that tunnel and ready to do their work and be the player they’re here for and what they’re capable of. I believe we’ll finish second and believe we’ll win the game tomorrow and it’s important every one of our boys that’s stripped tomorrow have that exact same mindset. I trust my players and we work closely with them. I know how motivated they are, likewise on Saturday I seen how hard they worked to get the result and you need a bit of everything to win games and hopefully tomorrow night we can be a bit on the ball and show confidence. If we can do that along with that work rate and determination I’m confident we can get the job done.”

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