Aberdeen boss McInnes: My players performed well to curb Morelos threat

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos shows his frustration.
Rangers' Alfredo Morelos shows his frustration.

Dons boss Derek McInnes has praised his defenders for the way they handled Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos in Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final.

After netting a double against Aberdeen before getting sent off in a 4-2 win at Pittodrie in February, the Colombian was the danger man for the Gers going into the cup tie.

However, Morelos found it difficult to get any change out of centre-backs Scott McKenna and Andy Considine.

For McKenna it was redemption after being red carded along with Morelos for an altercation during the previous meeting of the sides.

McInnes felt that was one of a number of good duels that took place at the weekend.

The Pittodrie gaffer said: “The two of them, Scott McKenna and Andy Considine, had their hands full.

“Even when Morelos isn’t at his best, he still plays on the shoulder and only needs one chance sometimes.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes after the game.

“The concentration from McKenna and Considine was excellent and I thought that was a good battle.

“There were good individual battles – Dom Ball and Ryan Kent, Max Lowe and Daniel Candeias, Graeme Shinnie and Ryan Jack.

“There were a lot of good duels going on there and no more so than that one.”

As well as containing the threat of Morelos, McKenna and Considine were a danger at Aberdeen set pieces.

Both had chances with McKenna’s header tipped onto the bar in the first half and he also saw an effort blocked by Scott Arfield after the break.

Considine missed a header from six yards and also had a shot saved by Allan McGregor at point-blank range.

McInnes added: “It was disappointing because the deliveries were good, big Andy had a chance from McGinn’s outswinger.

“McKenna had one off the bar from Stewart and we looked a real threat and set plays.

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t get the second goal and it’s disappointing to lose a goal from a set play, we don’t expect to lose a goal from that.

“It’s disappointing not to get it over the line, but Rangers defended well enough, got bodies on the line and the effort was clear from our team.”

It was a typically fraught and fiery Aberdeen-Rangers encounter, but McInnes also praised referee Kevin Clancy for the way he handled proceedings.

The whistler handed out five bookings and McInnes said: “The referee was good in the game and both sets of players tried to play the game in the right manner.

“I don’t think there was any shortage of effort or commitment but there was enough restraint from both sets of players.

“I didn’t think it was over physical.”