Derek McInnes refuses to answer questions on Scotland job

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes refused to answer questions about the Scotland job. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes refused to answer questions about the Scotland job. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Derek McInnes is fully focussed on success at Aberdeen but admits it remains an ambition to manage Scotland someday.

The Dons boss is one of the favourites to replace Gordon Strachan after establishing the Pittodrie club as Celtic’s main rivals in recent years.

However, he has made it clear his priority is to maintain that position with a win against Hibs at Easter Road tomorrow
to remain in at least joint top spot ahead of the champions’ visit on Wednesday week.

When asked about the Scotland job McInnes, pictured. said: “It is not a question I am willing to answer. My focus is on Aberdeen. I think, like most, when you start out as a player or manager I think playing or managing your country would be very high on the agenda. I am reluctant to talk about anything other than managing Aberdeen.

“This will be the ninth game and we are pleased still to be unbeaten in the league but every game is a challenge. Winning at Easter Road is a challenge but it is one both the players and I will relish.

“The supporters have snapped up the [ticket] allocation and will go there in good numbers. We go there looking to win games and to try and stay unbeaten for as long as possible.”

McInnes admits he does have sympathy for Strachan after taking Scotland so close to clinching a World Cup play-off place. He believes he deserves credit for the way the national team recovered after a disappointing start to the campaign.

Not only that, but McInnes is confident whoever takes over will be in a good position to end Scotland’s 22-year exile from major competitions by qualifying for Euro 2020.

He added:“If you look at the last six results in isolation you would be really pleased not only with the performances but also the return of points. It has been more than decent and there has been plenty of encouragement.

“It is tough because Gordon is a small margin away from being a hero and really turning things around. Not many people would have given him much hope after the opening games. It is difficult but there is a lot of encouragement.

“There are a lot of good, young Scottish players who are getting better and they still have the best years of their careers ahead of them.

“I think there has been a lot more investment and focus at youth level over the past few years and in time that can only benefit the national manager and the national team.

“That might be a wee while away but for the short to medium term for the national team I still think there is a lot of encouragement there.

“We were close to qualifying and there has been a lot of doom and gloom and a lot of criticism that comes from a failed campaign and ultimately that is what it is.

“I do think the last half-a-dozen results have been far more like it though and gives us a bit more optimism.”