Aberdeen face sweat over wingers ahead of league trip to Rugby Park

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn goes close with a chance against Motherwell.

Dons manager Derek McInnes admits he faces a sweat over the fitness of wingers Niall McGinn and Gary Mackay-Steven for Saturday’s trip to Kilmarnock.

Both wingers picked up injuries in the build-up to the 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Motherwell at Hamdpen.

McInnes had initially planned to start both in the semi but they reported to training carrying injuries following the 2-0 loss to Hearts.

It was touch and go last week whether they would be passed fit for the semi but having come through training on the eve of the Hampden clash, they were given the go-ahead to travel.

Neither were fit enough to start and with the Reds trailing 2-0 McInnes introduced them from the bench.

He is concerned that could have a knock-on effect for the trip to in-form Kilmarnock who have won six straight league games.

McInnes said: “The risk of playing Niall may well cause him problems going forward for the next few games, and it may also be the same case for Gary.

“Hopefully, we can have Niall and Gary available for the weekend.”

Aberdeen will, however, welcome back skipper Graeme Shinnie, Scotland international Kenny McLean and right-back Shaleum Logan for the Premiership game at Rugby Park. All three were suspended for the Scottish Cup semi-final.

In the aftermath of the defeat, McInnes admitted his squad was not strong enough to cope with the loss of three key players.

He accepts his signings in the last two transfer windows were responsible for that lack of squad depth.

He insisted that will be fixed during the summer transfer window with a high turnover of players anticipated.

He said: “I did not play the team I wanted to play (in the semi).

“We played the team that needed to be played and unfortunately it was not good enough.

“I will be delighted to get the three boys back who missed the semi-final match.

“I said I would not use the players that were not available to us as an excuse, but I think it was clear that we struggled to replace like with like.

“With McLean, Shinnie and Logan back we will hopefully have a better level of performance from the team in general.”

Aberdeen’s cup bid imploded in two crazy minutes in the first half when they conceded twice. Both goals stemmed from defensive mistakes.

McInnes said: “If you are going to go 2-0 down before half-time there is still plenty of the game to go.

“For me that is where the mental focus is, to say ‘back to basics’.

“We tried to drum that message across to the players.

“We were better and took a bit more responsibility but the quality was still lacking in the final third.”

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