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McInnes expects Dons response to 'humiliating' Rangers loss

The Aberdeen manager says recent defeats "hit the team hard".

McInnes said his players were lacking "attitude" at Ibrox.
McInnes said his players were lacking "attitude" at Ibrox. SNS Group

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has admitted that last weekend's 5-0 defeat to Rangers was a huge blow to him and his players but he expects a positive response when Hibs visit Pittodrie.

The heavy loss at Ibrox came on the back of a League Cup exit at the hands of Hearts and made for one of the most difficult weeks of McInnes' tenure. He didn't play down any aspect of the defeat, describing it as "tough" and "humiliating".

He said: "The last couple of results have been difficult to take and have hit us hard.

"The Hearts game, being so close to getting into another semi-final and with so much effort put in, was naturally very disappointing.

"I actually thought the performance was alright. And then we go into the Rangers game another two bodies light and I felt the energy and everything was lacking.

"I think you have to look at results like that and be honest with yourself and the players.

"It was a tough, humiliating experience on Saturday. But that's the way it is sometimes. You have good days and bad days and that was a particularly bad day. "

The Dons face Paul Heckingbottom's Hibs team this weekend with the Edinburgh side having come through their own tough spell to beat Kilmarnock on penalties to reach Hampden and then draw 1-1 with Celtic in the lead. McInnes said that he had been telling his players the best way to get over their Ibrox loss was to win three points.

"Everything is always about the response: showing enthusiasm in between disappointments and failures," he said. "That's what I've been trying to stress to the players this week.

"There's an honest bunch of boys there who are hurting like everybody else. But the only way we can make ourselves feel better and makes the supporters feel better is by winning games and that's what we've got an opportunity to do on Saturday.

"What we can't do is let the disappointment of last Saturday go into this game negatively. We have to use it in a positive way and that's to go and knuckle down and get on with the job."

'Rangers go spend about £11m or £12m in the summer and we spent £125,000. For us to bridge the gap against Rangers, to make sure it's a decent performance with a chance of winning, we need to bring so much more than we did on Saturday.'
Derek McInnes

The Dons boss admitted his side had struggled with key players out injured and will welcome Andy Considine back into the team this weekend with Scott McKenna also close to a return. But he said that everyone had to be giving their all and showing the right character to make an impact in difficult games.

He said: "I think there has been [some soul-searching]. I think you just have to be honest.

"I have to ask myself 'Did you pick the right team?' and I know I had limited options. I think the players have to be honest with themselves in terms of performance.

"We can lose to Rangers, even at our strongest, that can happen. I think when you lose in the manner we did, we need to be more physical, more aggressive to bridge the gap and we need to be full of running which I think showed after 120 minutes at Tynecastle.

"But we also need to show more personality and confidence. Any time we've had big results when underdogs we've always carried ourselves with more attitude and that's what I want my Aberdeen team to be like. We didn't show enough of that side of it.

"We need [these things] to bridge the gap. But Rangers go spend about £11m or £12m in the summer and we spent £125,000. For us to bridge the gap against Rangers, to make sure it's a decent performance with a chance of winning, we need to bring so much more than we did on Saturday.

"We expect that in every game, representing the club well and representing ourselves well. Hopefully we can see more of that, more of everything on Saturday."

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