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McInnes: Dons can cope without Cosgrove against Rijeka

The striker has been ruled out of the crucial Europa League qualifier.

Cosgrove will miss the decisive Euro tie.
Cosgrove will miss the decisive Euro tie. SNS Group

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has said his side can cope with the absence of Sam Cosgrove when they face Rijeka, saying they've dealt with injuries to key players before.

The Dons are 2-0 down from the first leg of their third qualifying round tie and need goals to overcome the odds and see off the Croatian side. 

Cosgrove had been in prolific goalscoring form early in the campaign but has been ruled out of the game at Pittodrie.

The tight hamstring that forced Cosgrove to miss the defeat to St Mirren on Sunday hasn't cleared up in time but McInnes said other players can pose a goalscoring threat.

McInnes said: "Sam is out unfortunately and so is Craig Bryson.

"But as important a player as Sam is, we've shown we can get to a level of performance without key players in the past.

"We've got enough attacking threat in the team that we shouldn't be solely reliant on Sam. We hope to show that tomorrow night."

Despite the size of the task ahead, McInnes insists it isn't insurmountable and believes capturing the form of earlier rounds could see his team recording what would be a memorable result.

"That's the intention," he said. "We would love to make this a game to be remembered.

"I'm certainly not looking at this as an impossible task.

"It's half-time in the tie. We've come back from Croatia kicking ourselves that we've allowed it to get to 2-0.

"Having watched it back, the game was uneventful and for the majority of it a lot of our work was good. But we'll certainly have to carry more of an attacking threat.

"There's no point going over last week's game. It's finished and we now know what needs to be done.

"It's important we try to win both halves. It's not about being Gung-ho and negligent but about being measured and having the belief that we can replicate some of our earlier home performances.

"But we've got it all to do. It's up to us to change the course of events."

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