Evening Express

Show me you believe in cup glory for us, says Aberdeen boss McInnes

Derek McInnes wants to land a piece of silverware

Boss Derek McInnes today challenged the Dons to show the belief they can lift the Betfred Cup this season.

McInnes led Aberdeen to trophy glory when they lifted the League Cup in 2014.

That is the Reds’ only silverware in 23 years and McInnes has targeted more trophy success this season.

The Pittodrie gaffer wants this to be the year the Dons’ name goes back on the cup.

Newly promoted as Championship winners St Mirren are the first hurdle.

However Aberdeen will have to weather a rearguard crisis for the second round tie with four defenders out.

McInnes said: “We must all strive for that cupsuccess and believe it is our name that is on it.

“To try to get to the end game in a cup is always the target – to try to win it.

“We have been to a few finals and we have won a trophy in the last few years.

“The ones who were in that team (2014 League Cup winners) remember it and the supporters also remember that.

“A lot of clubs will go into the tournament hoping to win it and a lot of clubs will also put themselves under that pressure.

“We are happy to have that demand to win trophies.”

Aberdeen defeated St Mirren 4-1 at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup last season.

However, McInnes warned that result will count for nothing today as the Buddies are now a top flight side.

They are also under new management as former Hibs and Rotherham boss Alan Stubbs replaced Jack Ross following his move to Sunderland.

McInnes said: “When we played St Mirren last year in the cup they came up here buoyant and on the crest of a wave as they were used to winning every week.

“They were clearly playing with a lot of confidence.

“St Mirren had a lot of youngsters in the team which normally brings that natural enthusiasm.

“But we dealt with the tie then and we have to go and try to deal with it now.

“St Mirren and ourselves are both different now.

“We have players who did not play in that game but the challenge is still the same – which is to get through the tie.”

St Mirren romped to the Championship title last season but new boss Stubbs has reshaped his squad with eight of his summer signings under 23-years-old.

McInnes said: “When you come up from the division below you get that natural bounce and enthusiasm as a club.

“That is always there for the early part of the season.

“It is always tough when you play teams in the Premiership in the cup whether home or away.

“We are grateful we are at home.

“Hopefully, we can bring a strong enough performance that helps us get the job done.”

Aberdeen have four defenders out for today’s tie with Shaleum Logan suspended. The right-back will return for next week’s league trip to Hibs.

Scotland cap Scott McKenna is out for six weeks with a hamstring tear with on-loan Watford defender Tommie Hoban sidelined with a knee injury. Hoban could be back in time to face Hibs.

Centre-back Mark Reynolds is out for six months having undergone knee surgery.

McInnes hopes to hand on-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson his Dons debut today.

Wilson, 22, signed earlier this week but missed training due to an ankle knock sustained while playing for the Old Trafford club’s U23s.

McInnes said: “We have got high expectations of everybody this season and James is one of those we fully expect will help us meet the demands.

“He has settled in well.

“James has thrown himself into the work and mixing with the players.”