Derek McInnes questions 11th-hour fixture change

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ABERDEEN manager Derek McInnes admits he was perplexed by the fixture scheduling that led to a late change to his side’s game with Dundee.

Aberdeen were due to play their Scottish Premiership opponents at Dens Park next Monday night, but the game was put forward to Saturday lunchtime after McInnes saw three players called up for international duty.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has raised his objection to a late change to a fixture against Dundee. Picture: SNS

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has raised his objection to a late change to a fixture against Dundee. Picture: SNS

While Scotland defender Mark Reynolds and Scotland Under-21 call-up Lawrence Shankland were not in previous squads, Niall McGinn is a regular for Northern Ireland, who play at Hampden two days after the initial Dens Park date.

McInnes said: “As players and staff we can adjust but I think it’s unnecessary to have it changed so late in terms of the supporters.

“We shouldn’t take our supporters for granted and myself and the players certainly don’t do that, but the change being so late should have been avoided and I don’t think it had to take three players from my club getting called up.

“I think we can all learn from the incident. Why schedule a game on a Monday night of an international week? And if the alternative date was there so readily, why weren’t we given that option?

“My message to supporters is looking forward to the game, it’s not dwelling on a fixture change. It’s been unfortunate but we have to deal with it.”

Aberdeen will get the chance to put some pressure on Celtic by moving level with the league leaders, who host Dundee United later on Saturday.

But McInnes, who has doubts over Jonny Hayes, Peter Pawlett and Willo Flood, said: “I don’t think Celtic will be glued to their TV looking for our result but whether it’s Saturday or Monday we have a real opportunity to get three points.

“The perception of going joint top of the league is maybe an extra motivation for some but from our players’ point of view, with 10 games to go we have to take every opportunity to win a game.”

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