McKenna learning from red mistake – Aberdeen boss McInnes

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos and Scott McKenna are both sent off after a coming together.
Rangers' Alfredo Morelos and Scott McKenna are both sent off after a coming together.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today insisted Scott McKenna will learn from the red card setback that ruled him out for three games.

Scotland international McKenna will serve the final game of that suspension when missing Saturday’s trip to St Johnstone.

The defender, 22, received a straight red for kicking out at Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos in a 4-2 defeat at Pittodrie.

McKenna retaliated after Morelos stamped on him and McInnes insists the centre-back’s reaction was out of character.

Colombian attacker Morelos was also red carded in the incident by ref Bobby Madden.

McInnes insists McKenna deserved to be sent off and should hold his hands up and learn from the experience.

Aberdeen opted to accept the red card and suspension.

Rangers, however, appealed Morelos’ dismissal, but an SFA disciplinary panel upheld the red and three-game ban.

McKenna, who was the subject of a rejected bid of around £5 million from Stoke City last month, will return to action for next Wednesday’s home clash against Hamilton at Pittodrie.

McInnes said: “It was unusual for Scott but it will be part of the learning process for him.

“Scott is a young player with bags of potential and he has done so well.

“But any time you get sent off, and deserve to be sent off, then it is something you have to put your hand up and learn from. And Scott will. There is absolutely no problem with that.

Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna, right, and Mikey Devlin in action

“We were just disappointed we missed him for three games.”

The absence of McKenna for the trip to McDiarmid Park further depletes an already weakened Dons defence.

Centre-back Tommie Hoban is ruled out for the rest of the season, having suffered a knee injury in the 2-2 draw with St Mirren at the weekend.

The on-loan Watford defender twisted his knee awkwardly when attempting to turn.

Aberdeen have confirmed Hoban will require surgery on cruciate ligament damage.

Right-back Shaleum Logan is also a major doubt with an ankle injury that ruled him out of the weekend draw with St Mirren.

Logan was sent to see a specialist this week for further assessment on the injury and the scan results.

Experienced centre-back Mark Reynolds is out on loan at Championship side Dundee United. Reynolds moved to Tannadice during the January transfer window.

Centre-back Mikey Devlin is available, having returned from a three-month lay-off with a foot tendon injury. The 25-year-old started for the first time since November 9 in the draw with St Mirren.

Despite injuries and suspensions, McInnes is confident he has a squad strong enough to secure victory in Perth. He said: “We have always managed to deal with it.

“We have shown we can still get results without key players this season.”

Aberdeen will bid for a seventh straight away victory when they go to Perth on Saturday.

Their strong form on the road has been in sharp contrast to their performances at Pittodrie. Aberdeen have taken just two points from the last 12 at home and were held by St Mirren, who are rock bottom of the Premiership.

McInnes said: “It is not a new thing for us for teams to come up and try to frustrate.

“To come up here and play 5-4-1 is something we have had to contend with over the years.

“The onus is on us to break them down and to have the patience, professionalism and discipline to just keep playing the game, and knowing and believing we would score goals.”