McInnes warning for Aberdeen

Date published: Thursday 1st January 1970 12:00

McInnes warning for Aberdeen

The Dons squeezed past Macedonian outfit Shkendija in the last round to earn the match against Croatian league runners-up HNK Rijeka, with the first leg at the Kantrida stadium on Thursday.
Defender Mark Reynolds, who is recovering from surgery to his right shoulder, is the only absentee from the Dons’ travelling party who warmed up for the trip with a 2-0 win over Raith Rovers at the weekend.
McInnes told the Daily Record: “Rijeka are in the same bracket as Real Sociedad (who eliminated Aberdeen last year). They have a high calibre of player and they have experience of top European matches. They will be a tough nut to crack but that’s not to say we can’t win.
“Many people in Scotland won’t have been too aware of Rijeka when the draw was made. We have worked tirelessly to get as much information as we can about them. The standard of their league is strong and it’s clear they have an excellent pedigree.
“But we are in Europe for the chance to test ourselves against quality opponents. We are looking forward to pitting our wits against them.
“We want to go as far as we can and we know if we are going to do that we will have to get the better of some really good teams. We’ve put one good side out already – the Croatians are even better.”
The Croats finished as runners-up to Dinamo Zagreb last season. Their manager Matjaz Kek was in attendance in Kirkcaldy at the weekend and was impressed by what he saw.
He said: “If people think Aberdeen are some lumberjacks who will only lump the ball they have got another thing coming. This is a team that knows how to play, they have their quality.”

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