As if the fallout from last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-defeat wasn’t bad enough, Derek McInnes has been forced to discipline Anthony O’Connor for an ill-judged outburst on social media criticising Aberdeen’s supporters in the wake of that game.
The Irishman claimed the Red Army were “up there with the worst for getting behind their team” in an angry response to a fan who had messaged him on Instagram following the 3-0 loss to Motherwell.
The Aberdeen manager fully understands the anger and frustration felt by everyone connected with the club after their poor performance at Hampden Park. However, McInnes won’t tolerate disrespect shown to Dons fans in general and especially the 12,000 who travelled to Glasgow to back the team for last Saturday’s early kick-off.
McInnes said: “We have a social media policy and Anthony has breached that. I have spoken to Anthony and it has been dealt with internally.
“He is fully apologetic. After a game like the semi-final, where there is a lot of anger and frustration, it is easy to be reactive and react to criticism and comment. But Anthony in his time here has praised our fans time and time again. He has apologised for what he has said. We have a brilliant support and the players recognise that. Every single one of our players at some point has paid tribute to the loyalty of our fans and the distance they need to travel to see their team. We can only achieve what we want to achieve with everyone pulling in the right direction.”
Even if O’Connor really does have any genuine concerns about their supporters attitude he’s unlikely to be around much longer to worry about it. It’s expected he’ll will move back into central defence at Kilmarnock today after a midfield role last week but he also looks certain to leave under freedom of contract next month.
Killie, meanwhile, have not beaten Aberdeen since a 2-0 win in December 2012. And despite Steve Clarke rejuvenating the club since taking over as manager in October – he has taken them from bottom spot to fifth place – he too has struggled in the four fixtures between the clubs.
Derek McInnes’ side have won their two league encounters with Aberdeen going through in their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final meeting on penalties after two draws.
Killie’s chances have not been helped by the news that midfielder Rory McKenzie is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.