McInnes: Cup glory tarnished by budget rumours

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes there are clubs with bigger budgets below his team in the Scottish Premiership this season. And he believes his players’ efforts in restoring glory to the club have been belittled by claims about the Dons’ spending power.

The League Cup winners will clinch a European place if they beat St Johnstone at Pittodrie tomorrow. McInnes, who was this week named on the PFA Scotland manager of the year shortlist, said: “I think to be sitting second in the league with four games to go, to be playing a game on Saturday knowing that if we win we qualify for Europe, knowing that we’ve already won the League Cup, there has been a lot of good things at the club this season.

“I think it needs to be said that it’s through the efforts of the players. There’s an honesty, a commitment and personality about this squad of players that have got us to where we are this season. And I’m a bit bemused why people seem to paint a ­scenario that we’ve got a massive budget over others.

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“I don’t know what other team’s budgets are. I happen to think we have a slightly higher budget than one or two ­others, but at the same token that doesn’t give you any guarantee anyway. There’s also one or two have got bigger budgets than us who are below us in the league.”

McInnes, who has signed the likes of Willo Flood, Barry Robson and Adam Rooney, added: “It needs to be said. Sometimes I think that can dilute the players’ efforts. It’s through honesty and their commitment that we have got the club in a strong position.”

McInnes will see at least one player drop out of his squad for the visit of his former club St Johnstone. “Nicky Low broke a toe in an under-20s game on Tuesday night, which will unfortunately rule him out for the rest of the season,” he said.

“There are one or two who have got the effects of a bug but we’re hopeful that will pass.”