Dons boss McInnes calls for troops to win fight to reclaim second with victory run

Derek McInnes

Boss Derek McInnes was today confident Aberdeen will finish above Rangers in the Premiership – if they show their true form.

The Dons were overtaken by Rangers in second spot on goal difference following the 2-0 loss at Ibrox.

McInnes accepts the Reds are now in a fight for second having lost all three games to the Light Blues this season.

But he reckons it is a battle they can win and has challenged his men to achieve that.

A bad night for the Dons had some late relief with the confirmation keeper Joe Lewis had not suffered a broken leg as feared.

Relief for Dons at confirmation keeper Joe Lewis has not broken a leg

Lewis was rushed to hospital in Glasgow having been stretchered off following a collision with Josh Windass.

McInnes said: “We have a fight for second spot, clearly.

“Rangers were clear favourites at the start of the season with what they have got and they have made good signings.

“But we fell short of what we are capable of.

“If we can get to our level which we do most weeks then we can still finish second this season.

“We have always been a team that is capable of going on good runs.

“But we have work to do and we need more from certain players.

“We will dust ourselves down, respond and try to win the game against Kilmarnock on Saturday.”

‘Inability to take anything from the Glasgow two this term has been Aberdeen’s Achilles heel’

McInnes had his fears on keeper Lewis allayed with confirmation the 30-year-old had not suffered a break.

Play was held up for five minutes in the second half to allow treatment to Lewis who was rushed to hospital.

McInnes said: “We just had to be hopeful it was not a serious injury and let the experts at the hospital do their job.”

Dons keeper Joe Lewis stretchered off as Reds slump 2-0 at Ibrox

Substitute keeper Danny Rogers came on as Lewis’ replacement and failed to save the penalty which made it 2-0.

McInnes was frustrated at the way the Dons conceded a penalty kick to go two behind in the second half.

It not only cost the Dons a goal as keeper Lewis sustained his injury in the spot-kick incident.

McInnes said: “We gave them a penalty kick but (Josh Windass) shouldn’t get in there and we should see that off.

“Anthony can do a lot better and sense that danger and shepherd it away.

“Windass took advantage of indecision and obviously we are then left with a serious injury and a penalty to contend with.”

Aberdeen pushed forward in the latter stages at Ibrox and created a succession of chances late on.

Skipper Graeme Shinnie, Adam Rooney, Scott McKenna and substitute Dominic Ball all had opportunities to net.

But Dons boss McInnes was left disappointed at the inability to convert those opportunities.

He said: “At 2-0 we had four or five real chances and Foderingham was excellent with his saves.

“A couple of them were straight at him but he still has to make them.

“Although Rangers were the better team their keeper has done very well for them to keep a clean sheet.

“We were guilty of not doing more in the game and we were guilty of not converting those fantastic, real clear-cut chances we created.”

Meanwhile, Aberdeen transfer target Mikey Devlin is set to travel to England for talks with Preston North End.

Hamilton have accepted an £80,000 bid for the centre-back who has been out injured since March with a knee injury.

Dons boss McInnes recently admitted he is interested in securing Devlin.

In the Premiership, Hearts beat Hamilton 3-0 with Ross Callachan, David Milinkovic and substitute Dario Zanatta netting.

Motherwell beat Ross County 2-0 and Hibs won 1-0 at Dundee.