Dons must try and make light work of Finns – Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen will not be caught napping as they prepare to take on RoPS Rovaniemi in the land of the midnight sun.

The Dons’ Finnish Europa League opponents are based just four miles south of the Arctic Circle where daylight currently lasts 24 hours a day.

But the Pittodrie boss has taken measures to ensure his team are fully rested up ahead of the Keskuskentta Stadium showdown as they look to protect a 2-1 first-leg lead on Thursday night.

“I don’t think there will be any issues,” said McInnes. “I actually had half an hour’s sleep this afternoon with the blackout curtains.

“We’ve got eye masks for the players so all these things have been taken care of. We don’t see that being a concern.

“I’ve been in Finland and Iceland before so I’m used to it. The players will get enough rest and a good sleep because we’ll be professional in our preparations.”

Aberdeen looked on course for a comfortable passage through to the second qualifying round last week after going two up in the Granite City.

But Tommi Jantti’s stoppage-time strike gives the Finns hope and McInnes admits his side cannot afford to switch off in the return.

He said: “The late goal keeps the tie alive for them. I think at 2-0 it’s very difficult for them to come back.

“It would have been a very positive result for us but we’re ruing the missed chances we had and the fact it could have been more.

“The fact that Rovaniemi scored means we have work to do.

“But any time we’ve had a positive result in Europe we’ve needed two strong performances. One performance in a two-legged affair normally doesn’t cut it.

“So the onus is on us to deliver a similar kind of performance. If we can, I’m confident we can get a result.”

Dons have travelled to Scandinavia without injured pair Craig Bryson and Michael Devlin as well as the ineligible Funso Ojo.

But McInnes said: “I’ll try to set out my team to win the game in the same way we did last week.

“Clearly we’re short in midfield. Bryson hasn’t travelled and won’t be fit for another week or so.

“Ojo is available for the next game if we can get through but we still have good attacking options.”