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Derek McInnes pleading patience in bid to bring James Wilson back to Aberdeen

James Wilson scored in his final game for Aberdeen against Hibernian.
James Wilson scored in his final game for Aberdeen against Hibernian.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hopes patience can pay off in his attempt to bring James Wilson back to Pittodrie.

The striker, who spent last season on loan at the Dons, is a free agent after leaving Manchester United but McInnes is keen on bringing Wilson back to Scotland.

Wilson has options in England with Preston North End among the interested parties but the Dons boss has not given up hope of convincing the Englishman to return.

He said: “We enjoyed working with James in the latter part of the season. We actually played him in a slightly different position, in off the right-hand side, in a position we thought he was capable of playing.

“When you look at his contribution in the last few games, he set up two goals against Hearts and he could have had a hat-trick against Celtic and I don’t mind people missing chances as long as they get in there and he was a threat.

“He was lively in the game and he scored the winning goal in the last game of the season at Easter Road. He was very good in the second half and there was an indication that maybe the season finished too early for James.

Derek McInnes would like to work with James Wilson again.

“He is a player, while I would have liked to have worked for him longer, who has things to consider. He has been on holiday and there is nothing imminent on that. We will keep dialogue open as we have done with Gary Mackay-Steven.”

Despite keeping in touch with Mackay-Steven it appears McInnes’s hopes of retaining the winger are slim after New York City rekindled their interest in the player yesterday.

McInnes is resigned to Mackay-Steven leaving and said: “The New York City opportunity is one he will find difficult to turn down but we have to move on. We’ve enjoyed working with Gary but the likelihood is he will move on.”

The Aberdeen manager is also keen on strengthening the right side of his defence and remains open to Tommie Hoban returning too.

The central defender, who can also play at right back, suffered a cruciate ligament injury in February which ended his loan spell from Watford. He is a free agent after being released by the Hornets and McInnes has offered the 25-year-old the chance to continue his rehabilitation at Pittodrie.

Derek McInnes has left the door open for Tommie Hoban to return.

He said: “We always speak to Tommie, he was back up for the semi-final and has been up for a few games.

“We have offered the chance to pick up with the rehab side of things and that option will be there for Tommie.

“He is at a crucial stage with his injury and he won’t be fully fit until October or November.

“It is not something that is too pressing but it is something that Tommie would be keen to do that he could come back up and get himself fit. He just needs to concentrate on getting fit and we have offered him that chance to get fit.”

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