Aberdeen v Real Sociedad: ‘Real won’t go easy’

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes chats to the media ahead of his side's Europa League tie with Real Sociedad. Picture: SNS

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes chats to the media ahead of his side's Europa League tie with Real Sociedad. Picture: SNS

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DEREK McInnes does not expect Real Sociedad to do his Aberdeen team any favours in their Europa League return.

The League Cup winners trail the La Liga giants 2-0 from the third qualifying round first-leg in Spain after David Zurutuza and Sergio Canales gave the Basques a comfortable win.

McInnes knows his side will have to step it up at Pittodrie if they are to turn the tie around - but reckons Sociedad will make his side fight all the way.

He told RedTV: “Here’s hoping [they take their foot off the gas] but I wouldn’t imagine so. We can’t bank on it.

“All we can do is put a bit of doubt in their heads by the way we play.

“I would assume they will come here in a professional manner. They were really up for the game over there and I wouldn’t expect anything different from them.

“If we are to get a result it will be a result of what we do and not what the opposition does.”

A sell-out 20,000 crowd will roar the Dons on in the Granite City clash and McInnes knows his side must score first to have any chance.

“A 2-0 scoreline over there was not a disgrace but we still feel we can do better,” he said.

“It’s half-time in the tie and they have a big advantage. But 2-0 in any game is still a result you are never totally comfortable with if you are winning at half-time.

“The next goal is always important in a 90-minute goal. This will be no different.

“So it’s important that the first goal is an Aberdeen goal. If they score it makes it a massive job for us. But if we can get it, hopefully the momentum change can help us.

“There is still a lot to play for and we are not giving up. We still feel that playing at home with a huge crowd behind us, we can get a positive result that takes us through the tie.”

Team news

McInnes will at least have a near fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of Thursday’s Pittodrie clash.

His only absentee is Clark Robertson, who stepped up his rehabilitation following knee surgery by playing an hour of a friendly with Elgin on Tuesday.

Provisional squad: Langfield, Logan, Reynolds, Anderson, Considine, Hayes, Flood, Robson, McGinn, Jack, Rooney, Pawlett, Smith, Shaughnessy, Low, Taylor, McManus, Wright, Goodwillie, Monakana, Brown.

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