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McInnes urges injury-hit Aberdeen to maintain confidence ahead of Rangers clash

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his players to maintain their confidence against Rangers despite seeing their injury situation further deteriorate.

James Wilson will miss Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter at Ibrox with a knee strain while fellow forward Connor McLennan is struggling with a dead leg.

Defenders Scott McKenna and Ash Taylor were already missing along with midfielders Stephen Gleeson, Funso Ojo, Craig Bryson and Scott Wright.

McInnes believes Rangers have made improvements over the summer but the Dons are looking to carry on a good record against Steven Gerrard’s men.

Aberdeen only lost two out of seven encounters last season and knocked Rangers out of both cups.

McInnes said: “We have got to make sure that we go down to the game confident that we can still get a result as we did last year on a number of occasions.

“I remember going down there after losing the cup final to Celtic and winning midweek when the odds were against us, and winning games there with 10 men.

“We have had adversity to deal with in the past and we probably have a wee bit of that to deal with at the minute with the injury situation. But we know that we can go down there and still put in a performance that can hopefully get a positive result against a very good Rangers team.”

McInnes, whose side lost on penalties to Hearts in the Betfred Cup on Wednesday, added: “We still have a good team out there.

“The team that started, there was still a decent balance about it the other night. Players are getting opportunities and we find out a wee bit more about one or two of the younger ones.

“There will still be a team out there who has got a good balance about it and is good enough to try and get a result.”

Despite their injury difficulties, Aberdeen sit third in the Premiership and could move to just a point behind second-placed Rangers.

McInnes said: “Rangers have improved and we put a squad together in the summer. Rangers have spent a lot of money on their squad and you can see that in it.

“We spent £125,000 in the summer and we don’t have Ojo fit until January.

“We have tried to make those improvements (after) losing key players.

“The time to judge my squad and wherever they have improved is at the end of the season.

“Certainly, these games are a real test for us. The players always look forward to these games.”

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