A delighted Derek McInnes challenged his Aberdeen players to “create an era” and, following their victory over Morton, go on and win the Betfred Cup.
But his opposite number Jim Duffy was left wondering if the Dons opener should have counted. “I’ve been told the goal was offside,” he said. “I haven’t seen it yet, but if it was, then that will stick in the throat.”
With an eye on today’s Old Firm semi-final, the Cappielow boss added: “If there’s an offside call in that one then everyone will make a big deal about it that’s for sure.”
McInnes, pictured right, indicated no preference for who he’d like to meet in the final. “Whoever wins between Celtic and Rangers it will be a challenge and we’ll be the underdogs. We’ve played them both this season, won one and lost the other, and both teams caused us problems. Rather than who we’ll be playing, though, I’m more concerned about the team we’ll be in the final.”
Reaching another final was hugely significant, he said. “It’s games like this one when you’re judged. You either deal with them or you don’t. That’s three League Cup semis in four years and we’ve managed to win the trophy once.
“The aim is to go and win it again; we want two. I want my period at the club, and that of my players, to be an era, a sustained period of success. Rather than it just being related back to that victory at Parkhead [in 2014] I want other references.”
Reflecting on the game, McInnes said: “I think Morton deserve a lot of credit but so do my players. The best team won, we created the most chances, but Morton were everything I thought they’d be: well-organised, well-managed and confident. They were a challenge for us and we were able to overcome it. Good teams keep going, keep doing the right thing and score late goals. That’s what we’re about right now and I’m absolutely delighted.”
Duffy said that after a “frantic” start by Aberdeen which left his players “shellshocked”, they settled into the game. “Don’t get me wrong, Aberdeen were still dominant, but they didn’t create many chances. They tried everything to cut us open but credit to my players they didn’t buckle. I was absolutely thrilled with their performance and attitude.
“Top teams, though, wear you down by passing, changing the play and keeping the pitch wide. You shuffle and shuffle and the concentration can go. But if their first goal was offside it will make the result even more painful. I’ve been told there was a hint of offside. There’s no such thing. It’s either offside or it’s not.”