Aberdeen have an away goal from their trip to Georgia but manager Derek McInnes insists his side still have it all to do if they are to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League despite a 1-1 draw at Chikhura Sachkhere.
Sam Cosgrove’s penalty, his third goal of the season, canceled out a first half spot-kick for Chikhura in Tbilisi and while pleased with his side’s response McInnes, pictured, knows the Georgians can still cause his side problems in next week’s second leg at Pittodrie.
He said: “It is half time in the tie and I am pleased with response of team. When we needed a response at half time we gave it.
“But we know it is only half time in the tie and we still have it all to do in Aberdeen. Our opponents showed enough qualities to prove they are still in the tie.
“The away goal is very important to us but it doesn’t give you any guarantees Our opponent showed enough qualities for us to recognise we are still in a tough tie.”
Chikura are sixth in the Georgian top flight but the Dons boss was not surprised by their display in the Georgian capital.
He said: “I have been very impressed with the Georgians. They are a well-managed team with good technical players that play with a lot of passion.
They deserve a lot of respect.We have a high regard for our opponent and we felt at this stage in our season they would be difficult opponents, and we still feel they will be difficult opponents.”
The Dons, already without Mikey Devlin and Greg Leigh due to hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, suffered another defensive injury blow when Ash Taylor suffered an injury and McInnes is fearing the worst.
Asked about the severity of Taylor’s injury the Aberdeen manager said: “We don’t know. It is obviously a hamstring injury and we will reassess it when we get to Aberdeen. Under the circumstances, losing another defender to injury was not ideal as we already have injuries at centre-half and left back.
“Our options to play at full-back were a bit of a challenge for us.”
The Georgians led at the break thanks to their penalty but McInnes insists there was no contact from Funso Ojo on Irakli Lekvatze in the box.
However referee Horatiu Mircea Fesnic awarded a spot kick which was converted.
The Dons boss added: “I don’t think there was any contact – it was a poor decision. We felt a grievance but the response from my team was good.”