‘Hearts and Hibs would love to be like Aberdeen’ says Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes refuses to discuss the personal abuse aimed at him by Aberdeen supporters last weekend but believes Jack Ross and Daniel Stendel would be viewed differently if the Edinburgh clubs were in the Dons’ position in the 
Premiership.

Derek McInnes is hopeful ahead of season-defining eight days. Picture: SNS.

Loud chants of “Derek, Derek get to f***” were heard from frustrated fans at the end of Saturday’s Scottish Cup draw against Kilmarnock as the team reached 454 minutes without scoring a single goal.​

Extending that barren spell to a sixth successive match for the first time in the club’s 117-year history is unthinkable, especially against 
Hamilton Accies who have conceded 12 goals in their last three home games.​

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In fact their last Premiership clean sheet at the FOYS Stadium was way back in August which must greatly increase the chances of Aberdeen’s players getting a result that will ease the growing pressure on their manager.​

McInnes certainly remains optimistic at the start of what should be a season-defining eight days with a visit from Celtic to come on Sunday, before next Wednesday’s Scottish Cup replay at Rugby Park.​

That is a venue where they remain unbeaten in all 12 previous visits under the current manager but it is a return to a sort of normality in the Premiership that he is demanding tonight by regaining a position that must make Hibernian and Hearts jealous.​

McInnes said: “We need to be reminded that we can go third on Tuesday which sounds bizarre in the context of what we’re getting, but that is the opportunity that is there in front of us and I think that is an opportunity worth taking. ​

“I believe we should be judged similar to Hibs and Hearts and they would love to be in our position at the minute in terms of points, 
having a chance to go back up to third in the table. ​​

“I think third would be good for a lot of Hearts and Hibs fans at the minute. Finishing third for us might still not be seen as good enough from some of ours but that’s just down to previous years. ​

“We have always been a good wee bit ahead of these clubs over the last wee while because of how we have worked as a club. Not just how I work, or my players work. As a club, we have worked hard to do things properly.​

“Even when we’re doing really well you’re never going to please everybody. That is the way it is for managers. ​

“There will still be some supporters for whom if we finish third and have a brilliant cup run, it might not be enough. You’re never going to keep 
everybody happy, I get that.” ​

Of course remaining in third place would depend on what Motherwell do at Perth tomorrow, but even returning there for 24 hours would reduce some of the hysteria as far as Niall McGinn is concerned.​

The former Celtic 
winger understands the fans’ 
frustrations with recent 
performances but believes it’s time for a reality check about how far the club have come since McInnes took over 
seven years ago.​

The Northern Ireland international is in the 
ideal position to judge as he signed on for a first stint at 
Pittodrie when Craig Brown was manager of a bottom- six club, struggling to make an impact in the knockout 
competitions with no chance of European football. Since then things have changed beyond all recognition, so much so that McGinn was desperate to come back after a failed spell with Gwangju in South Korea.

He said:“Things are getting blown out of proportion as we are still fourth in the league and still in the Scottish Cup.​​

“My first season here we finished seventh or eighth, didn’t qualify for Europe and went out of the cups early and that was massively disappointing. ​​

“Since the manager has come in the club has gone from strength to strength, we have had European football every season and regularly been in finals and semi-finals. ​​

“The club is in a good shape and recruitment-wise it has always been in a good state with the players he has brought in.​​

“Look at the careers he has helped to advance like Kenny McLean and James 
Maddison, who have moved on to the Premier League ​​

“Aberdeen has been a good stepping stone for some players and it has been a good place for myself and a few others who have been here for a long time and had good careers. ​​

“That has helped me on the international front and I can only say good things about the club and how the manager goes about his business.”​​

The real question is 
whether more of the club’s 
supporters will have good things to say about McInnes come the middle of next week.