Derek McInnes admits SFA correct on Hearts bust up

Paul Hartley slots home a penalty against Alloa in the League Cup during his Aberdeen days. Picture: SNS
Paul Hartley slots home a penalty against Alloa in the League Cup during his Aberdeen days. Picture: SNS
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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes will hold his hands up to whatever punishment comes his way following his touchline bust-up with Hearts assistant Billy Brown.

The pair had to be separated after the Hearts coach wheeled into the Dons’ technical area as he celebrated 17-year-old Jordan McGhee’s late winner in the Gorgie side’s 2-1 win at Tynecastle on Saturday.

Following the incident at the end of a drama-filled day in the capital, both men were sent to the stands and Scottish Football Association compliance officer Vincent Lunny has issued the pair with notices of complaint.

But speaking before Lunny’s decision to call both men in, McInnes said: “I would expect a call or a letter, and rightly so. I was surprised to see an opposition member of staff in my technical area, regardless of celebrating a goal or not. That was disappointing.

“What is also disappointing is [my behaviour]. I should not react like that and I apologised for that after the game. Billy apologised too, but that’s not going to be the end of it and we will take whatever the consequences are when it comes.”

McInnes remains frustrated by what took place on the pitch in Edinburgh as it was a game he felt his side should certainly have won.

“There was no doubt we were the better team,” he said. “We created more opportunities and if we had got a couple of right decisions we would have won. We were disappointed with that. We were negligent in both boxes, for the second goal especially and for the opportunities we passed up. It’s frustrating, but you move on. There are more positives than not for me.”

Moving on means focusing on tonight’s League Cup clash with Alloa, managed by former Aberdeen player Paul Hartley.

Aberdeen’s wait for a trophy stretches back to 1995, when Roy Aitken’s side claimed the League Cup with a win over Dundee. In recent years, the manner of their numerous cup exits has been a source of embarrassment for the Red Army after their team failed to topple a host of lower-division sides, including East Fife, Raith, Queen of the South and Queen’s Park.

McInnes said: “We can’t do anything about what has happened in the past. We are aware that there have been upsets here at Pittodrie when Aberdeen have been strong favourites to win and haven’t gone on to do so.

“We are favourites to win but we need to make sure that, if there are upsets, they happen elsewhere. We need to be confident to do the job as well as we can and get it done.”

Hartley is hoping a former Dons youngster will help his side pull off a shock.

One of his first signings was goalkeeper Scott Bain, who had impressed him at Pittodrie, and Hartley said: “Scott was there as a player before joining my first team at 19 years old. It will be great for him to show how well he has progressed. He has been sensational for us.

“He is the best young goalkeeper in Scotland and over the past two and a bit years Aberdeen’s loss has been our gain.”

The Recreation Park manager, who scored for the Dons when the sides last met in this competition three years ago in a 3-0 Aberdeen win, added: “I am looking forward to going back to Aberdeen but a lot has changed. They brought in a good manager in Derek, and he has made good signings, so it is a tough tie, but we will look to go and enjoy it.”