Aberdeen Devlin injury call will go to the wire as Betfred Cup final hype hotting up

Mikey Devlin in action for Aberdeen.
Mikey Devlin in action for Aberdeen.

Dons defender Mikey Devlin will be given until a Friday deadline to prove his fitness for the Betfred Cup final.

Boss Derek McInnes wants to see the centre-back return to training at least 48 hours before Sunday’s final in order receive the green light to start at Hampden.

The 25-year-old is battling to recover from a foot tendon injury sustained earlier this month while on international duty with Scotland.

Devlin missed the 3-0 Premiership loss to Motherwell where the Reds defence gifted the Steelmen all three goals.

McInnes said: “Mikey is giving us the biggest concern at the minute although he still has a chance of being fit for the final.

“We will give him every opportunity and will try to have a team in mind with Mikey in it, and a team in mind with him out of it.

“Mikey has a shot at it but he will need to train by Friday for me if he is going to be able to start. Hopefully Mikey can be there for the final.

“He has had some good days and bad days since being diagnosed.

“At the weekend there was a bit more encouragement with how he felt.

“On Monday not so much. However, tomorrow is another day and hopefully by Friday he has a chance.”

McInnes has limited defensive cover as centre-backs Mark Reynolds(knee) and on-loan Watford stopper Tommie Hoban (shoulder) are long-term injury absentees.

Devlin has four days to battle back to fitness and McInnes hopes the defender can be given the all-clear for the final.

However, if the centre-back is unable to train before that Friday deadline McInnes is confident he has enough cover.

“As well as Mikey we also have Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban out which is three centre-halves.

“It is very unusual to have three out at the same time and we have had to deal with the other two for quite some time.

“When Mikey or Scott McKenna have been missing it has put a real strain on our back lot.

“We probably have more options in other areas of the pitch at the minute.

“But we have players capable of delivering a performance and we have coped without big, important players before.

“If need be will have to do that again in the final on Sunday.

“However, we are hopeful Mikey can be there.”

McInnes is confident there will be no fresh injury woes despite some players sustaining knocks in the defeat at Fir Park.

A number sat out training yesterday morning before McInnes travelled down to Hampden to meet the media for the pre-final preview.

He said: “There were a couple of knocks from Saturday and a few boys didn’t train on Monday accordingly.

“We are hoping everyone can be available, certainly the ones from the Motherwell game.”

McInnes will be back at Hampden at the weekend when he leads Aberdeen out for a fourth final during his time as Pittodrie gaffer.

He won the 2014 League Cup but lost out to Celtic in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals in 2016-17.

Having held a post mortem into the manner of the loss to Motherwell all focus is now on lifting a trophy.

He said: “For this week it is important we all knuckle down and prepare as properly as we can to bring a performance that is going to be needed in the final.”

McInnes insists the looming final did not distract his team at the weekend and play a part in the defeat at Fir Park.

He said: “There were enough references to the cup final, that we can’t have an eye on the final and think we can be at our best and get a result at Motherwell.

“The performance just wasn’t at a level I would expect from my team.

“Now it is important we prepare as well as we can this week because we have a real opportunity to try to bring a trophy back.”