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McInnes vows no let-up in big push for European six in a row

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says there will no let-up as they try to secure European football for the sixth successive season.

The Dons travel to Glasgow this Saturday to face Celtic in Neil Lennon’s first home game in charge of the Hoops since replacing Brendan Rodgers before Tuesday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Rangers at Ibrox.

While the cup remains Aberdeen’s last realistic chance of landing silverware, McInnes is determined his Dons finish the league campaign strongly over the final 10 games.

He said: “When we go into the league we have always tried to be as competitive as possible.

“Our first port of call is to get European football.

“We are a few points worse off than where we normally are at this stage in the season.

“We look too far away from the teams above us now but you never give it up.

“You keep going but I have said often enough that our fight is with ourselves.

“We just need to keep working away and keep picking up points and then once we get to the 30 game-mark or the split you see where you are and what you can do.”

Greg Halford, who was not involved in the Aberdeen squad that drew 1-1 with Rangers on Sunday, could be included in this weekend’s meeting with the Hoops, who are 16 points ahead of the Dons.

McInnes says the 34-year-old, formerly of Cardiff City, Rotherham and Nottingham Forest, strengthens his defensive options with Shay Logan and Tommie Hoban not likely to feature again this season.

He said: “I tried to sign him before for Bristol City but we got done a bit on the money a wee bit from Nottingham Forest.

“These things happen but he has always been attractive to managers because of his attributes. He has the size, which is important in the English Championship where he has played most of his career.

“He can play right and left back, centre half and as holding midfielder. He was attractive for loads of reasons but he is a very competent and confident player and it is good we managed to get him.”

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