Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is hoping his club’s poor home form in the second half of the season does not cost them a place in Europe today.
The Dons missed out on automatic qualification for the Europa League after being pipped to third place on goal difference last weekend by Kilmarnock.
A fourth place finish means the Dons need Celtic to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden today to qualify for the Europa League and while McInnes is unhappy at relying on a helping hand from the Hoops today he knows his players only have themselves to blame for their predicament.
He said: “It’s a horrible feeling knowing it is out of your hands and we hope Celtic win the cup final and we get our European spot.
“But we got to 67 points and I felt 70 was what we needed to get a European spot. We beat Kilmarnock and both Edinburgh teams and I hoped nine, maybe 10 points would be enough but Kilmarnock got a big result against Rangers and we have to congratulate them.
“Our away form was outstanding but our home form came back to bite us, especially those three matches against Livingston, St Mirren and Hamilton. We needed nine points and we took two and it has cost us.”
Irrespective of today’s result at the National Stadium McInnes faces a busy summer as he rebuilds his squad for the next campaign.
Captain Graeme Shinnie is the most high-profile departure as he heads for Derby County and replacing the inspirational driving force of the team will be the Aberdeen manager’s biggest challenge but he insists Dons fans will see a competitive side representing their club next season.
McInnes, who has been linked with a move to bring Manchester United’s on-loan forward James Wilson back to the club on a permanent deal, said: “We are losing Shinnie but we have had big rebuilds in the past and we will go again.
“I understand because we are losing big characters why people think it’s a big summer but we will do our business and be back next season.
“We can still be competitive. Everyone said it was the end of Aberdeen being competitive after the Scottish Cup final in 2017 and unfortunately we have fallen short this year but we will be back to try to get to more cup finals and upset a few people along the way.
“It’s part of the job. I’ve been doing this now for nearly 12 years and the break-up of any team can be emotional at times but before you know it we’ll be back talking about new players.
“We wish everyone well who moves on but hopefully we can enjoy our summer break with European football to look forward to when we come back.”