Derek McInnes eyeing progress for Aberdeen despite late RoPS strike

© SNSAberdeen manager Derek McInnes can't hide his disappointment after conceding late on.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes can't hide his disappointment after conceding late on.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is confident his side will progress to the second qualifying round of the Europa League despite losing a late goal to RoPS last night in the Europa League.

The Dons dominated the 90 minutes and deserved their two-goal lead thanks to goals from Niall McGinn and Sam Cosgrove but substitute Tommi Jantti’s injury-time goal changed the complexion of the tie completely.

While frustrated at the loss of the goal McInnes, pictured right at full-time, believes a repeat performance in Finland will be good enough to progress next week.

He said: “We passed up a lot of opportunities and the last bit of polish in front of goal was missing but if we get similar chances next week we will be in a better position to take them.

“If we had taken our chances tonight we could have this wrapped up but we face a difficult game in Finland next week. I’m confident if we take the chances we can go through.”

The result came hours after McInnes and his assistant Tommy Docherty signed new two-year contract extensions to keep them at the club until the summer of 2022.

McInnes said: “When you work with the chairman as I have for six years there is a trust there and we knew this would get done. I’m absolutely delighted to commit myself to the club.

“I’ve been hell-bent on bringing trophies here since I arrived and six years later it remains the case. I’m looking forward to moving to a new training ground and stadium and seeing the younger players coming through, and hopefully we have some good years ahead.”

The Dons boss confirmed the club has had a bid for Scunthorpe United player Funso Ojo accepted, but Aberdeen face competition from Hibernian, who are favourites to sign the defensive midfielder.

RoPS manager Pasi Tuutti was thrilled with his side’s display and believes their late goal gives them hope of beating the Dons next week and progressing to the second round.

He said: “Aberdeen created so many chances but Antonio Reguero was marvellous.We were not the better team but we feel we have a chance next week.”

Meanwhile, Chikhura Sachkhere beat Fola Esch 2-1 in Luxembourg last night to take control of their Europa League first qualifying round tie. The winners of next week’s second leg will face either Aberdeen or RoPS in the second round.

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