Sport Derek McInnes' Aberdeen turnaround hailed as Alex McLeish warns of 'absolute disaster' for Celtic

08:50  27 october  2020
08:50  27 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is banned for one match - with a further game suspended - for gesturing to Celtic fans who were singing a The hearing was been brought forward a day because McInnes wants to attend the funeral of former Celtic captain and manager Billy McNeill on Friday.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes side are second in the Scottish league. McInnes wants to add signing to put pressure on Celtic . Derek Mcinnes says he didn’t have to look far this week for a glaring example of the gap in resources between Aberdeen and Celtic .

Derek McInnes has breathed new life into Aberdeen and his rejuvenated side could leave Celtic facing “an absolute disaster” in this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

That's the view of Alex McLeish, who was the last Dons skipper to get his hands on the famous old trophy back in 1990.

McInnes has transformed Aberdeen into one of Scottish football top clubs again but before this season things looked to have turned a little stale.

However the Dons boss, who has one League Cup to his name, has risen to the demands of new chairman Dave Cormack as well as the Red Army to get his side firing again.

Aberdeen now look to have added an attacking edge to their defensive steel and that has fans dreaming of once again challenging against Rangers and Celtic.

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Derek McInnes hailed his battling Aberdeen side for showing they still have the fight to chase Celtic all the way in the title race. Aberdeen beat Hamilton to reduce the gap to Celtic to four points. Celtic had come from behind to beat Hearts the day before.

The chance now arises for Derek McInnes to make a significant impact on Rangers' season. Just not in the manner many had previously predicted. Rangers host Aberdeen at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday. They remain without a manager since the sacking of Pedro Caixinha.

They showed that at the weekend as a stoppage-time penalty from Lewis Ferguson got them a deserved home point against Celtic.

McLeish said: “In the past 10 to 15 years it has been difficult for other managers in Scotland to be regarded as greats and winning trophies has been very sparse.

“Derek has stood the test of time and turned down other managerial offers. He has been loyal to Aberdeen.

“Sometimes you can get a bit stale but this season it looks like there is a breath of fresh air in there.

“That is a great credit to him. You look at managers over the years and the longevity is there and you have to say he has done a fantastic job.

“The result at the weekend and the way they played and scoring the late goal – normally Celtic score the late goal and have done over the years against them – that’s got to give them a lot of belief.

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a man wearing a suit and tie © Craig Williamson/SNS Group

“It tells you they never stop until the final whistle and they definitely deserved at least a point. It has got to empower them.

“Derek has unleashed a lot of the young ones up front and it’s the strongest I have seen the bench in recent years for the Dons.

“The subs came on and made a difference, Scott Wright came on and looked a real good player.

“Other young forwards are doing really well and the organisation of the defence and midfield, Ferguson seems to be growing in stature every year. The Dons have a good chance going into this game.”

McLeish knows after defeats to Rangers and AC Milan and the draw at Pittodrie that the pressure is on Neil Lennon’s side.

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Predicted XI: Celtic v Rangers (H)
a man talking on a cell phone © Craig Williamson/SNS Group

“You don’t normally see the Old Firm clubs go on a prolonged bad run so you would expect Celtic to come roaring back at some stage,” the former Rangers boss warned.

Elyounoussi's Milan cameo has given Lennon attacking headache

  Elyounoussi's Milan cameo has given Lennon attacking headache Celtic suffered a second straight defeat in the week, as they went down 3-1 to AC Milan in their Europa League opener on Thursday. However, one positive to come out of the performance at Celtic Park was the second-half display of Moi Elyounoussi, who, we feel, has now given Lennon a real attacking headache ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aberdeen. The Norwegian was part of a double change at the break alongside Ryan Christie, initially partnering Albian Ajeti in attack. Elyounoussi had really struggled for form in the past few weeks. He was the club’s worst performer in the 2-0 win over St Johnstone prior to the international break, with a WhoScored rating of 6.17.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is on the shortlist to replace David Moyes at Sunderland. McInnes , though, has a Scottish Cup final against Celtic to concentrate on this weekend and any approach would have to wait until after that game.

Callum McGregor reckons Celtic team-mate James Forrest's Hampden wonder goal will snatch the Player of the Year award from under his nose. "I'll be interested to see if the SFA punish Celtic for fans' sectarian chants," says Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes following his dismissal at Hampden

“They’ve had problems with the rhythm of their team being disrupted by the loss of four or five players and that’s left their defence looking a wee bit shaky.

“You don’t normally see them making those kinds of mistakes.

“Kristoffer Ajer didn’t get close to Sam Cosgrove at Ryan Hedges’ goal and that looks to me like a confidence issue. These players are only human and sometimes confidence goes. Although normally, for the top teams, you get that back fairly quickly.

“You need to learn how to do that when you’re playing at the highest level and Celtic are expected to win every single week.

“It’s not often they go on a run of defeats and that’s two of the last three they’ve lost now.

“With the semi-final on Sunday, it would be an absolute disaster if they lost again there. There can be no doubt about that.”

Ferguson was a thorn in Celtic’s side with his penalty double at the weekend and McLeish knows he will be a major Aberdeen threat for the Reds again.

The midfielder, who has nine goals this season, is one the Cup Winners’ Cup winner believes can go to the very top.

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But Lustig has said that Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was the subject of taunts. Mikael Lustig denied Aberdeen 's claims he goaded teenager Lewis Ferguson in the aftermath of Celtic 's Betfred Cup final victory - insisting Derek McInnes was his target.

DEREK McINNES has apologised for his reaction to sectarian chants that saw him sent to the Hampden stand in Aberdeen ’s Scottish Cup McInnes said: “I let it go the first time. I shouldn’t react and I’ll take my punishment. I should be better than that. “I’ve heard that song a hundred times aimed

McLeish believes it is hard to believe that Ferguson is only 21 because he dominates play like he is a seasoned campaigner.

Alex McLeish holding a sign © Bill Murray/SNS Group

The former Dons captain said: “Let’s not forget how young he is, he is still playing for the Under-21s.

“I feel as if he has been there for five or six years by now and he should be 25 or 26.

“He has certainly got the ability to play at a higher level and he has also shown the consistency needed for a team to play in the higher part of the league.

“Lewis has been very consistent with his goalscoring, penalty taking and he has absolutely transformed the Aberdeen midfield.

“He has a big future ahead of him and he is still only 21. I actually can’t believe that.”

a man holding a football ball © Daily Record

The Dons are looking to lift their first Scottish Cup since 1990.

McLeish was captain that day as they famously beat Celtic on penalties – thanks to Brian Irvine’s penalty shoot-out winner.

He recalled: “My outstanding memory of that final was my penalty kick. It was a bit of a drab game and I couldn’t say who the better team was or who deserved to win.

“When it was still 4-4 after five penalties were taken by each team, Jocky [Scott] asked who was taking the sixth. I couldn’t hear any volunteers so as captain I put my hand up. He said, ‘aye but do you think you’ll score?’.

“I said, ‘I don’t know but I don’t see any volunteers so I’m taking it’.”

Alex McLeish was speaking to promote Premier Sports coverage of the Scottish Cup Semi-Final match Celtic v Aberdeen live and exclusive from 2pm on Sunday. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player. Prices start from £9.99 per month.

The tempting trap Neil Lennon and Celtic can't fall into as Rangers tick all the boxes in title quest - Keith Jackson .
Beating Aberdeen was a step back to the Hoops of old but they must stay in the moment.Given that this current season has been a bit of a slog so far where better for them to suddenly rediscover all their old swagger than by stepping back in time and into a previous campaign?

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This is interesting!