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Tony Docherty hoping international break eases Aberdeen’s worries

Aberdeen assistant boss Tony Docherty hopes the forthcoming international break can see his side’s injury problems start to ease – but they now face suspension issues.

The Dons had two men sent off during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Pittodrie.

Curtis Main and Lewis Ferguson were both shown straight reds for fouls on Hibs midfielder Stevie Mallan, the former’s sending-off coming shortly after Ryan Porteous had given the visitors the lead.

Sam Cosgrove equalised late on for the home side before Ferguson was given his marching orders in injury time.

Docherty said: “It’s frustrating that we’ve now got suspensions to deal with. I think Curtis Main has won the ball, and the Hibs player’s reaction has influenced the referee.

“With Lewis, it’s the same player. I’ve only seen both incidents once, from the touchline, and I certainly wasn’t looking for Lewis being sent off there.

“We’re in real need of getting as many of the injuries back as we can. Hopefully this period of rest will allow these players to get back into contention. We have games against Celtic and Motherwell coming up so we need all we can.”

Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom watched on as his side spurned the opportunity to put the game to bed, with Christian Doidge denied four times by Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

But having reached the Betfred Cup semi-finals and drawn with Celtic last week, the Yorkshireman sees light at the end of the tunnel after a difficult start to the season which has seen speculation about his future.

He said: “We’ve had spells in games where we weren’t strong enough and didn’t stand up to things, and those are the bits we’ve been trying to stamp out of our game. It’s the part of the game people don’t get credit for.

“We’ve done that. We’ve maybe not got the points we deserved from the games, but that’s what we expect every game.

“I can’t fault how Christian is leading the line. You see the run he made against Celtic last week, and the chances today.

“They’re all very similar which is what we’re after, but obviously we want to take the three points as well.”