Dons boss McInnes staying defiant on chances of beating Kilmarnock

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and assistant manager Tony Docherty.

Boss Derek McInnes was today confident Aberdeen can finish the job against in-form Kilmarnock to book a Scottish Cup semi-final spot.

Following a 1-1 draw, the Dons will travel to Rugby Park on Tuesday, March 13 (7.45pm), for a quarter-final replay.

Kilmarnock are unbeaten at home since November and have defeated both Celtic and Rangers at Rugby Park since then.

Up for grabs in the replay is a Hampden semi-final clash against Motherwell on April 14 or 15.

McInnes was left frustrated at spot- kick misery after a controversial equalising penalty from Killie forced a 340-mile midweek replay.

Killie’s Jordan Jones went down in the box after a defensive mix-up between Kari Arnason and Shay Logan.

But after studying slow motion footage of the incident McInnes insists there was NO contact.

He said: “We are still in the cup and the replay won’t faze us.

“It is a game that is clearly winnable as we have a good record against Kilmarnock in my time here both home and away.

we have a good record against Kilmarnock in my time here both home and away.

“Ideally we should have got the job done, we are well aware of that.

“It is another game we would rather not have had because we were in a winning position.

“But we are still in the cup and will look forward to the replay when it comes round.”

Aberdeen were on course for a sixth semi-final slot under McInnes when leading through an early goal from returning Graeme Shinnie.

Skipper Shinnie, operating at left-back, had missed the recent defeats to Celtic and Hibs through suspension.

However, Killie equalised in the second half from a penalty converted by Kris Boyd.

Lack of communication between Arnason and Logan allowed Jordan Jones to capitalise.

Jones went down in between the two Dons defenders and referee Steven McLean awarded the spot-kick.

In the immediate aftermath of the game McInnes studied footage and is convinced there was no contact from Logan.

He said: “It wasn’t pretty but In a cup game it is all about getting the job done.

“We were in a strong position at half-time to go and do that.

“We were in a winning position but let it slip through our hands.

“In the build-up to the penalty kick we were in the strongest position to deal with the ball through Shay (Logan) and Arnie (Kari Arnason).

“But they allowed Jones to get in. It was a mix-up at a straight forward ball through we should have dealt with.

“Ultimately, we should have dealt with the pass and we didn’t.

“We are still in the cup but that cost us being in the semi-final.

“That said I still don’t think it is was a penalty.

“I think he went down without any contact and having looked at it again I don’t see how anybody made a foul.

“Certainly Shay has not made a foul and if the referee thinks he has it might have been a booking and maybe he was off.

“He has just got in between.

“But we caused that situation so I can understand why Jones has maybe went down.

“But looking at it and I have slowed it down, I actually don’t see who has made an offence and pulled him down.”

McInnes was more frustrated at the defensive errors that led to the spot-kick decision and did not criticise whistler McLean.

Jones went down between two bodies and McInnes’ initial reaction from the sidelines was that it was a penalty – until he studied footage after full-time.

He said: “At the time I thought it was a penalty so I was seeing it the way the referee saw it.

“So there is no real criticism of the referee if I am honest.”

The equalising goal galvanised an in-form Kilmarnock team that have lost just twice in the last 18 games.

Both of those defeats were at the hands of Aberdeen.

Ultimately McInnes was relieved to still be in hat for the semi-final draw which was made at Ibrox.

He said: We are just grateful to still be in the cup because we didn’t do enough over 90 minutes to be convincing enough to go and get the job done.

“Losing the goal and the manner of the equaliser in giving away the penalty, affected one or two, and we probably didn’t deal with the last 20 minutes the way we should have.

“When it got to 1-1 you know you are only one mistake away from going out the cup.

“Although we had some chances, Kilmarnock played with a bit more purpose in the last 20 minutes.

“We were the better team in the first-half and the better players were in Kilmarnock jerseys in the second.

“Ultimately, if you want to get through tough games and beat good teams like Kilmarnock you probably need a more complete performance.

“We never had that.”

Defender Andy Considine was suspended for the clash with Killie but will be available for the replay.