Derek McInnes hopeful goals will finally come for Stevie May

Stevie May is wanted by a number of Scottish clubs
Stevie May is wanted by a number of Scottish clubs

Boss Derek McInnes today confirmed Stevie May could still save his Dons career despite being told he can go out on loan.

Striker May has fallen further down the Pittodrie pecking order following the summer signing of Curtis Main and James Wilson.

A £400,000 capture from Preston North End in summer 2017 means May still has two years left on his Dons deal.

May, 26, scored just eight goals in 75 appearances during two seasons.

If May wants a permanent move away from Pittodrie the Dons will look into it.

However, McInnes’ preference is for a loan in the hope May can rediscover his scoring touch.

A recall option would be written into any loan deal in case May does hit the goal trail away from Pittodrie.

St Johnstone, May’s former club, have inquired about the striker with St Mirren, Dundee United and Dundee also interested.

McInnes said: “We are happy for Stevie to go out on loan to get regular football to try and score some goals and try to catch fire for somebody with the option to come back in January.

“That would be something that we would like to happen.

“We had a chat with Stevie about it and he understands it and is receptive to going out and playing somewhere.

“He will probably have a few options to see what he wants to do, and go and get regular football.

“For me the option would be there (for a loan).

“If he feels he wants to go on a permanent then we would maybe have to look at that.”

Named on the bench in the 1-1 friendly draw with Inverness Caley Thistle at the weekend, May came on as a late substitute for Jon Gallagher.

He missed the first friendly of the season, a 0-0 draw with Connah’s Quay Nomads in Cork, with a virus and came off the bench in a 2-0 win at Peterhead.

May was the major summer signing two years ago, with McInnes outlaying the biggest transfer fee of his six years at the club to land him from Preston.

However, May failed to score in open play in the Scottish Premiership last year.

He netted twice in the league last campaign but both goals were from the penalty spot (against Celtic and St Mirren).

He also netted in a 4-0 League Cup defeat of St Mirren in August but his last goal from open play in the Premiership came more than a year ago in a 3-1 defeat of St Johnstone in March 2018.

Contracted at Pittodrie until summer 2021, McInnes insists May can still resurrect his career with the Dons.

McInnes said: “We’re not shutting the door on him when he’s got an opportunity with some clubs (to go on loan).

“I’ve spoken to a couple of managers who have expressed an interest and I’m sure there are other clubs interested. I am sure he will have some options.

“I think the incentive of maybe going out and playing regular football, getting among the goals and getting that confidence will certainly serve Stevie and us well if he goes out on loan.”

Aberdeen’s Greg Leigh is challenged by Inverness CT’s Roddy MacGregor

Meanwhile, McInnes hopes left-back Greg Leigh will recover from an ankle injury in time to face RoPS Rovaniemi in the Europa League on Thursday.

Summer signing Leigh limped off in the first half of the 1-1 draw with Inverness Caley Thistle at Elgin.

Leigh sustained the injury when challenged by Roddy MacKenzie in the final pre-season friendly.

On loan until the end of the season from NAC Brada, full-back Leigh has started all three pre-season games.

The Dons medical team will keep close tabs on the injured ankle and were today set to further assess it.

McInnes said: “We hope Greg is going to be all right.

“He just rolled his ankle and got a wee bit of a fright, as we all did.

“I’m hoping it’s just a normal kind of ankle roll and it will settle in 48 hours. I wanted to get Greg 90 minutes against Inverness, he was down to play that.

“He was a wee bit behind our lads, probably about a week behind in his fitness work.

“Greg had a longer break than most due to the Dutch season.”

McInnes is also confident fellow summer signing Craig Bryson will be available to make his Dons debut against RoPS.

Craig Bryson in training at Fota Island

Bryson returned to full training last Wednesday, having been sidelined since April with an ankle ligament injury suffered at former club Derby County.

The midfielder was named on the bench and was originally scheduled to make his debut but McInnes opted not to risk him on the “treacherous” surface.

McInnes said: “I didn’t put Bryson on because of the pitch.

“I just didn’t think it was worth the risk.

“It was important to get Bryson 20 minutes but I decided against that.

“I don’t know what the weather has been like up in Elgin but it looked like it hadn’t seen water for a long time.

“I don’t want to be too critical because we’re glad Elgin hosted the game, but you’d have expected the pitch to be in a better condition than that.

“It was awful. It was treacherous.

“It only started to play a wee bit better in the last 10 minutes when the rain came on and there was a bit of speed in it.”

Striker Sam Cosgrove and summer signing Ryan Hedges both sat out the game against Inverness as a precaution having picked up minor knocks. Both are set to be fit to face RoPS.

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