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‘DEFENDERS AND REF BLUNDERED,’ McINNES

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DEREK McINNES bemoaned the fact three individual errors cost Aberdeen dearly in their 3-0 loss against rampant Motherwell in the Scottish Cup semi-final clash yesterday.

The devastated Dons boss criticised blundering defenders Dominic Ball and Kari Arnason – and he wasn’t too pleased with referee Kevin Clancy, either.

McInnes claimed Well’s first goal shouldn’t have stood after Richard Tait used an arm to bring it under control before passing to Curtis Main who claimed the opener.

But he also questioned his defence when they yielded a second goal to Ryan Bowman only three minutes afterwards.

He said: “In terms of the game, I felt there was concern when you make so many changes with players who haven’t ordinarily been playing and how they settle into the game.

“I thought we settled into it okay. Nothing more. We bedded our way in without really showing the aggression and imposing ourselves.

START OF THE DONS MISERY…Curtis Main slams the ball past Joe Lewis.

“We dealt with their longer ball up in that opening period just as we have done when we have beaten Motherwell in the past, but the first time that we don’t deal with it, they get a goal.

“Arnason should do better off the goalkeeper’s kick. Ball should be in a better position to deal with the next one.

“It’s a handball. I think the referee is more responsible for that one. Tait knocks it on with his arm into his path.

“While Dominic should not stop, he is never going to recover that situation.Between five officials, you’d think they might be able to get that right.

“Where I’m disappointed with my team is that there has been a pattern this season where we have lost the first goal and quickly lost another one.

“That, for me, is down to mental focus and concentration. Resetting yourself and not letting a poor situation because an even worse situation.

“I thought at the time the second goal was a foul on Arnason, but it isn’t. We should deal with that better.

“So there has been individual mistakes for the first two goals and officials have been part of it.”

DEFEAT AND DESPAIR…Scott McKenna walks off as Derek McInnes can only stand and stare.

McInnes added: “We then took a gamble. Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were ruled out at the start of the week. Both were doubtful.

“They did a bit of work Friday and I was just grateful they both travelled and were able to take part of the bench.

“I thought we were in the game at that stage. Moved the ball about, but not as convincing as we should have been with the talent we had on the pitch.

“We passed up a couple of opportunities and the third goal absolutely knocks any momentum or any sort of chance of getting back into it.

“It’s a poor mistake again. There are three individual mistakes in the game.

“But the level of performance was nowhere near good enough and the plaudits go to Motherwell as they deservedly got into the Final.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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