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Derek McInnes reminds Aberdeen players ‘we are not a poor team’ after heavy loss

Aberdeen v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Derek McInnes reminded his Aberdeen players they are “not a poor team” following the 4-1 defeat at Ross County which brought stinging criticism.

The Dons described the afternoon as “horrible” and the loss made it three Scottish Premiership games in a row without a victory.

The Pittodrie side, however, remain only one point behind third-placed Hibernian with two games in hand and ahead of the visit of Motherwell on Saturday, McInnes said “You come in, you get the boys going again, you try to get them to re-focus.

“You remind them that it was a poor afternoon but we are not a poor team. That needs to be said.

“We are up where we are in the league with two games in hand over Hibs and even if we win one of them we will be sitting in third spot, and we have done enough this season to suggest we can finish the season where we want to finish.

“It was a bad day, we recognise that, we knuckle down and get on with the job and remind the players that we are not a poor side – and we are not.”

McInnes reacted to the criticism from a section of the support by giving a recap of his time at Pittodrie since he arrived in the Granite City in 2013 and the changing circumstances.

He said: “I understand criticism, I expect it, I am used to it and the players are used to it as well when you don’t get the results expected of us.

“There is no hiding away from it.

“My remit when I came in here was to try to get the club into the top six, try to win a cup if we can, try to compete at the right end of the table.

“We have continued to qualify for Europe in my time here, every year.

“We develop players, we sold Scott McKenna for a club-record fee (Nottingham Forest, reported £3million fee) and defensively we have been pretty sound this season despite selling Scott.

“The consistency that we have shown in our time here with different squads, with my staff and myself has been widely recognised by the board and the board are grateful for that consistency shown.

“The majority of other clubs would look at that consistency as something that you work towards. We expect to show that consistency through this campaign.”

Ash Taylor, Ross McCrorie and Jonny Hayes all had to come off against County with various injuries but McInnes posted some good news on the injury front.

He said: “Ross McCrorie misses the next couple of weeks but in terms of what we were fearing, it is good news.

“He has punctured the muscle around the ankle and first we thought it was the bone and then we thought it was ligament.

“Jonny Hayes is off crutches from Tuesday/Wednesday and is improving. Ash did a bit of work today with the physio and should train fully tomorrow and all being well he should be in the squad,

“Greg Leigh is back training and Dylan McGeouch integrated into training this week with view to upcoming games.

“Connor McLennan, on the back of seeing a foot specialist, is available for Saturday, but we have to monitor him.”