McInnes puzzled by guard of honour ‘obsession’

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: John Devlin

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. Picture: John Devlin

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ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes confirmed his side will clap out champions Celtic when they meet on Sunday - even though he does not get the “obsession” with guards of honour.

Aberdeen had hoped to push their Glasgow rivals all the way but handed the Hoops their fourth successive Scottish Premiership title last week when they lost at Dundee United.

Ronny Deila’s side will make their first appearance since being confirmed as kings of Scotland when they visit Pittodrie this weekend.

McInnes says his team will pay tribute to the Parkhead side, but reckons the custom should really be reserved for May 24 when Celtic are presented with the trophy after their home clash with Inverness.

He told RedTV: “My own thoughts on it are that the team gets one when they lift the trophy or raise the flag.

“There seems to be an obsession with this. I’ve been getting asked this question from the beginning of the week.

“There’s been more concern about the guard of honour rather than the game itself.

“We’ve got no problem doing it, nobody’s forced us to do it, Celtic have deservedly won the title, and if it’s seen as the right thing to do, then we’ll do it.”

Aberdeen will have Barry Robson back from suspension, while Nicky Low has also recovered from a thigh strain to make the manager’s squad.

But one player who will not be featuring is injured skipper Russell Anderson after he announced he was retiring.

The defender made over 400 appearances for the club across two spells and will now take up a role with the Dons’ commercial department.

Hailing the 36-year-old - who became the first Dons captain in 19 years to lift a trophy with last season’s League Cup triumph - McInnes said: “Russell and I have been speaking throughout the season and retirement was something I knew he was thinking about.

“It’s a sad day for any player when he makes that decision, certainly someone as highly regarded as Russell.

“He will be remembered as a true club legend. He played such an important role for me and the team, none more so than when he lifted the League Cup last year, so it’s been unfortunate that he’s not managed to get on the pitch as much as possible this season.

“Being a captain and having such an important role as a figurehead for the club, it’s been difficult for him to look on from the outside.

“He’s a fantastic captain, fantastic for the team and a fantastic individual. As I said, it’s a sad day.”

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