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‘WINNING CUPS MY PRIORITY,’ McINNES

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DEREK McINNES has emphasised his priority as Aberdeen plan for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Motherwell at Hampden.

The Pittodrie boss has been at the Dons since 2013, but only has one piece of silverware, the League Cup, to show for his efforts.

McInnes said: “We have a training ground and a new stadium to look forward to and that’s all positive, but, ultimately, you want trophies to show for it.

“I’m sure the supporters will be grateful for a new stadium, but it’s not the most important thing to them. It’s not the most important thing to me or the players, either – it’s actually winning trophies.

“What we’ve done in the last few years has been a lot of good work from everybody on and off the park.

“There’s been a lot of good energy. We’re now debt free after coming in when we were so many millions in debt and didn’t have a team of value on the pitch.

“We’re now knocking back offers of over £1million for Scott McKenna and we had seven players away on international duty last month. We now have that team of value on the park.

“As a manager, a group of players or staff you just want to improve as a club so that you leave it in a better place.

“I still feel there’s more to achieve and days like the Cup Final last year whets the appetite for more. We’ve won, one but lost two and lost a couple of semis as well. But, at least, we’re putting ourselves in position to win things.

“Some good teams have beaten us, but, hopefully, we can get back to another Final and go on to win it this time.”

Tomorrow’s opponents thumped the Dons 3-0 in the League Cup quarter-final at Fir Park earlier this season, but McInnes said: “It won’t come into the team talk. We’ve played them three times since then and the most recent game which we won 2-0 is the one I’d make most reference to.

“The importance of the players to grasp the chance to get to a Final is big. We made mistakes that night in the League Cup and were punished by a rampant Motherwell side who sniffed blood.

“The intensity was lacking in the game, but it has been better since.”

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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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