McInnes relishing ‘unique situation’ as Dons head to Murrayfield to take on Hearts

The Dons will take on Hearts at Murrayfield.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his players to focus on the game rather than the occasion but hopes to make today’s Murrayfield meeting with Hearts a day to remember for the 7,000-strong Red Army.

The Jambos are playing their next three home games at the rugby stadium while Tynecastle is being redeveloped.

Murrayfield, which holds 67,000, is likely to be around half-full for this afternoon’s encounter with Craig Levein taking charge of the Gorgie side for the first time since replacing Ian Cathro last month.

It is the first time a domestic football match has been held at the stadium and Hearts have altered the Murrayfield pitch to mirror Tynecastle.


The Dons had a request to train on the Murrayfield pitch the day before the match knocked back by Hearts earlier this week.

McInnes said: “I have been to Murrayfield before, for a Scotland against England rugby game years ago.

“It is an unusual scenario and I have probably been asked more about the stadium than I have about the game.

“It is a quite unique situation and you can see that by the amount of supporters we are taking down there.

“But we have to focus on the game and concentrate on doing our jobs on the pitch.

“Obviously it won’t have the same atmosphere as Tynecastle as the stadium is likely to be half-full but that doesn’t bother us.

“It is great to take so many supporters to a Hearts away game as tickets are normally at a premium.

“It is a good opportunity for everybody to say they were there on this day but we want to make it a winning memory for us.

“We hope to do that and continue our good run.”

McInnes has been surprised by the demand from Aberdeen supporters to attend today’s match in Edinburgh.

The Dons are seeking an eighth successive away victory – a feat they last achieved during the 1970-71 season.

The Aberdeen manager added: “Having 7,000 supporters going down is incredible.

“It is important we try to get a result for them.

“We are pleased with the start we have made to the season but we want to push on now.

“Each game presents its own challenge, whether that is a different stadium or a plastic pitch.

“But the challenge is always with ourselves to make sure we are good enough to win the game.”