Frustrated boss McInnes calls for more aggression

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Boss Derek McInnes today demanded the Dons get aggressive in their Scottish Cup clash with Rangers.

McInnes was frustrated at the lack of dig from the Reds as their dismal home form continued with a 2-0 loss to relegation- battling Hamilton.

He has warned that fight must return for the Pittodrie quarter-final with the Gers.

Aberdeen go into the cup tie amid a concerning home slump with just two points from the last 15.

McInnes warned Aberdeen’s season hinges on solving their home hurt against an in-form Rangers side that has hit 14 goals in three games.

Aberdeen also suffered an injury blow with left back Max Lowe coming off injured and he will be a doubt for the cup tie.

McInnes said: “There has to be more aggression in our game from the start.

“We cannot just pick and choose when that aggression comes.

“It has to be there in every game, certainly the game against Rangers will demand it.

“There is no doubt our home form has to improve for us to achieve what we want to achieve.

“Certainly now on Sunday going into the cup game if we want to make sure we are in with a chance of winning a cup and get into the semi-final we have to make sure there is more aggression in our performance.

“Against Hamilton while there was no shortage of effort there was a shortage of aggression and confidence, especially once the second goal went in.

“We are all responsible and we should all expect better.

“It looked to me that Hamilton were the team with the biggest cause.

“That shouldn’t be the case as we want to do as well as we can.

“That was the most disappointing thing.”

Aberdeen have taken just one point from back to back home games against the Premiership’s bottom sides, St Mirren and Hamilton.

They were held 2-2 to bottom outfit St Mirren in the previous match at Pittodrie.

Amidst the home slump since the turn of the year the Dons also drew 1-1 with Stenhousemuir, the team bottom of League One, in cup action.

McInnes apologized to fans for another home howler.

He said: “I am bitterly disappointed as we should all expect more from an Aberdeen team.

“The supporters should expect more from ourselves.

“We expect far more from ourselves.

“We can only apologize to the supporters for the level of performance.

“There is a demand here and you have to deal with that and we have for the last six years.

“We want players who are brave enough to get on the ball whether it is 0-0 or we are behind.

“While still having the confident to make things happen and we were miles away from that in terms of taking that responsibility.

“I think the players are honest enough and if they are honest enough with themselves they will say they fell way short of what is expected.”

Aberdeen’s defensive jinx struck yet again as on loan Derby County left-back Max Lowe had to leave the pitch injured after just 17 minutes.

That came less than 24 hours after the Dons secured Greg Halford from the free agent market as emergency cover to strengthen the defence.

Halford has previously played for Sunderland, Wolves and Cardiff City – he was an unused substitute against Hamilton.

Defender Halford, 34, was signed in reaction to the injuries to right back Shaleum Logan and on loan Watford defender Tommie Hoban.

Logan is out for two to three months having undergone ankle surgery.

Hoban is set to undergo cruciate ligament surgery and is out for the season.

On Lowe, McInnes said: “It was enough for him to come off which puts him in doubt for Sunday.”

Hamilton went ahead in the first half with a magnificent goal from George Oakley from near the byline.

They secured the points to move them further clear of the immediate relegation spot through Mickel Miller in the second half.

McInnes said: “I have got to praise Hamilton for their part in it as they played well.

“The team with the more aggression won the game.

“It is a reminder to my players that while there is plenty of effort and running about you cannot just win a game based on your quality.

“There are so many other factors needed to win a game.

“We were unconvincing from the off in terms of defending and gave them one or two opportunities to keep them interested.

“The last 10 minutes of the first half we played well and were unfortunate not to get the equalizer.

“We asked the players to go and deliver a second half full of confidence with more aggression and intent.

“We got that for spells at the start of the second half and passed up a few chances.

“There were enough chances to win the game, that is clear.”