Dons face final fight - McInnes

Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen must earn the right to win the Scottish League Cup final despite John Hughes' complaints.

Last Updated: 11/03/14 at 17:45 Post Comment

Derek McInnes: Preparing for the Scottish League Cup final

Derek McInnes: Preparing for the Scottish League Cup final

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Derek McInnes insists his Aberdeen side will have to earn the right to win the Scottish League Cup final against Inverness at Celtic Park on Sunday despite the utterances of aggrieved Caley boss .

The former Falkirk and Hibernian boss insists the Highland club have been given that much of a raw deal in the lead-up up to the showpiece occasion that the Dons should just be given the trophy.

Hughes listed a catalogue of complaints on Monday, ranging from the fact that his side have to play Hibernian in a Scottish Premiership game on Wednesday night while the Dons are preparing at the the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, to the fact that original plans for fans at Parkhead would have seen the Caley support stuck in "that wee corner at the back of the goal".

He was also raging that referee Willie Collum ordered off both Greg Tansey and Marley Watkins during Sunday's 5-0 home William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat to Dundee United, albeit that both will serve their suspensions against Hibs and be available for the final.

Hughes is also irked that Inverness had to play Hearts in the League Cup semi-final at Easter Road, the home of the Jambos' Edinburgh rivals, Hibs, with a lunchtime kick-off which made it difficult for Caley fans to get down from the Highlands.

However, speaking at the Pittodrie club's media open day in St Andrews, Aberdeen boss McInnes said: "I am a wee bit confused to be honest because I am sure he (Hughes) said last week that the players would rather play than train all week.

"Also, he has two players available which ordinarily wouldn't be the case.

"If you are asking me, would I have wanted a league game in midweek before a cup final,

then of course I wouldn't have.

"But let's not kid ourselves, nobody is going to give us the trophy.

"We are going to have to earn the right to win it. Just as we have earned the right to be in a semi-final of the Scottish Cup and earned the right to be second in the League, we have earned the right to get to the League Cup final and if we are going to lift a trophy, we are going to have to earn the right to win it."

Around 40,000 Dons fans will make the trip to the east end of Glasgow and that unprecedented level of excitement and "intensity" within the Granite City is one reason McInnes has taken his players away to Fife for a few days.

The former St Johnstone and Bristol City boss said: "Everybody is full of anticipation and excited so it is good to get away and prepare.

"We have felt it the last few weeks, with the queues around the stadium.

"I'm banging on to the players to focus on the job, league business and Scottish Cup business but it has been difficult for them to do that and I accept that.

"We have tried to concentrate on the job in hand and now we can concentrate and talk about the cup final.

"We have come through some tough ties and we feel we have earned the right to get to the final, now we have

to accept there is still work to be done."


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