McInnes link to Rangers will not distract Dons vows Kenny McLean

Kenny McLean believes Aberdeen fans will back him despite declining a contract extension. Picture: SNS.
Kenny McLean believes Aberdeen fans will back him despite declining a contract extension. Picture: SNS.
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Kenny McLean is confident ongoing speculation linking Derek McInnes with the managerial vacancy at Rangers will not prove a distraction for Aberdeen this week.

Dons boss McInnes remains the bookies’ favourite to replace Pedro Caixinha at the Ibrox club who stated again at the weekend they have yet to approach any potential candidates.

As it stands, interim manager Graeme Murty is set to remain in charge for Rangers’ Premiership fixture at home to Hamilton on Saturday and Aberdeen midfielder McLean is hopeful McInnes will still be in the Pittodrie technical area when they resume their own league campaign against Motherwell the same day.

“There is loads of speculation but I’m sure he (McInnes) will come in on Monday ready to go and focused on preparing the team for Saturday,” said McLean.

“I hope he is here for the next game against Motherwell. I think everybody involved in the club will be feeling the same.

“We can’t dictate what is going to happen there. He has done a very good job in the summer so it is no surprise other clubs are looking at him. It was the same in the summer when there were Championship clubs wanting him. It shows the job he has done here and hopefully that continues.”

McLean has decided his own future lies away from Aberdeen, having turned down an extension to his contract which will expire at the end of the season. He is optimistic he will not experience a negative reaction from the Aberdeen support.

“I think the fans will appreciate the fact I’m giving my all,” he added. “If I keep giving everything for the club, they will appreciate that. These things happen in football and this is just another case of that. But the fans will be happy if I work as hard as I can.”

McLean won his second full cap for Scotland last Thursday when he was joined by Aberdeen team-mate Ryan Christie in the side which lost 1-0 to Netherlands at Pittodrie, while Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie was an unused substitute.

“It was excellent to be involved in the match,” said the 25-year-old. “I thought it was a really good performance from the boys. We were up against a top quality side and I felt we were very unlucky to lose.

“We caused them some real problems at times and we were unlucky not to get anything from it. We felt there were a lot of positives to take from the match.

“It was a very young squad. We have to take satisfaction from some of the play. We created plenty of chances and Craig Gordon didn’t have much to do. It was a really good night’s work.

“I was delighted for Ryan Christie to get his first cap. We are so lucky to have him at Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic. He has so much quality. Hopefully he can keep producing the same level of performances. He has been excellent this season and he showed that again against Netherlands. He is only 22 and winning his first cap but you wouldn’t have guessed that by the way he played. He is definitely the future.

“It was disappointing for Graeme not to get on but it was great to have three Aberdeen players in the squad.

“It was great to be in this environment, an honour to pull on the jersey and exciting for the future.”