Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes today confirmed defender Anthony O’Connor has apologised for hitting out at Aberdeen fans on social media.
McInnes also confirmed the 25-year-old has been dealt with internally at Pittodrie for breaking the club’s social media policy.
O’Connor reacted to a supporter who had messaged him on Instagram following the Reds’ 3-0 Scottish Cup defeat to Motherwell at Hampden.
The stopper posted: ‘I think Aberdeen fans are up there with the worst for getting behind there (sic) team’.
Aberdeen were cheered on by 12,000 supporters at the national stadium in the bid to reach a second successive Scottish Cup final.
As the Dons readied to face Kilmarnock away today, McInnes called for supporters and players to remain unified in the bid to finish runners-up in the Premiership.
McInnes said: “We have a social media policy at the club and Anthony breached that.
“It was dealt with internally. Anthony apologised straight away. It was brought to my attention on Sunday afternoon.
“A lot of things can get said when there is a lot of anger and frustration.
“It is important for us to remain calm and not to react to it.
“Anthony has time and time again praised the supporters during his time here, as every player has.
“We all recognise the loyalty of the supporters and the distance they have to travel to support their team.
“We all recognise the financial outlay that they have in going to our games.”
O’Connor has been a regular starter for the Dons this season and has made 40 appearances.
The former Republic of Ireland U21 cap’s contract expires at the end of the campaign.
O’Connor previously indicated he was willing to wait until the end of the season to make a decision on his future.
O’Connor’s comments on social media angered many supporters but McInnes insists his entire squad appreciate the commitment and dedication of the Red Army to the club.
With five games remaining of the season and the fight for a fourth consecutive runners-up hotting up, the Reds boss today called for everyone to remain together.
He said: “Anthony has apologised for his part in that and it is important we all stick together.
“It is important we show that strength and togetherness to try to get the job done for this season.
“Other people can give us a kicking from outwith the club, but it is important that everyone who has Aberdeen at heart pulls in the same direction.
“In my time here I have got to know a lot of supporters pretty well through the Granite City Supporters’ Club and the New Aberdeen Membership scheme.
“Also, from different events such as question-and-answer sessions and from interacting with the fans.
“The players also do a lot, more than any other club I have worked at, in terms of interacting with the support through our Community Trust and different aspects at the club.
“Every player at our club is well aware of the dedication and loyalty of the supporters. They have praised the support time and time again.
“That hasn’t changed.”
Meanwhile, wingers Niall McGinn and Gary Mackay-Steven are both injury doubts for today’s clash at Killie.
Midfielder Chidi Nwakali is out having sustained an ankle injury in the semi-final. Andy Considine is suspended.
McInnes said: “McGinn and Mackay-Steven are still causing a bit of concern.”
Aberdeen will welcome back Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Shay Logan who were suspended for the Hampden semi.
McInnes said: “It is a huge boost to have those three back.”