Aberdeen boss Barry Robson has been left disappointed the “outstanding” Red Army were denied more tickets for next month’s Viaplay Cup final against Rangers.
The Dons’ calls for a 50/50 split of tickets for the final fell on deaf ears – with the SPFL handing the Pittodrie club just 19,500 briefs for the Hampden showpiece.
Rangers, meanwhile, have been given 25,000 tickets for the national stadium and their support will outnumber a Reds side trying to land their first silverware success since winning the League Cup in 2014.
Robson was speaking in his press conference ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League visit to PAOK, and said: “The club were looking to get as many tickets as they could – and rightly so.
“We want to have as many fans as possible there, so it’s difficult that they’ve not split the gate.
“But, for me, we’re concentrating on the game tomorrow and hopefully we’ll fill our allocation when it comes around because the fans are outstanding.
“We are just focused on this game, though.”
Robson won’t rest players in Europe despite remote knock-outs progression prospects
Thursday’s Conference League clash with PAOK in Thessaloniki comes two weeks after Robson’s side collapsed at home to the Greek outfit.
Having been 2-0 up with fewer than 20 minutes left to play, the Dons conceded three times – with PAOK’s winner coming via a penalty following a VAR review – to miss out on a first group win of the Euro campaign.
The sore result meant, after three matches in the section, Aberdeen have taken just one point.
PAOK, on the other hand, top Group G due to their own flawless start.
Aberdeen’s hopes of reaching the Conference League knock-out stages are remote, and progress would require victories on Thursday, at HJK Helsinki at the end of November and then against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Granite City next month.
Despite these wafer-thin prospects of getting out of the section, Dons boss Robson is not considering resting players to prioritise domestic action in the remaining European fixtures.
He said: “We are here to be in the fight and try to win the game. We are still in the fight.
“The big thing is we’ve performed really well in Europe, but haven’t got the results we deserve.
“I think most people would agree with that and I won’t change my mind on that.
“Every game is important to us, so we just have to keep going.
“It’s not a case of resting players. Sometimes we might have knocks or injuries, but we want to win every game we’re involved in, as a manager and players.”
Robson revealed some players in his squad are carrying knocks ahead of the game in Greece – and leading striker Bojan Miovski was left hobbling after his goal heroics against Hibs during Saturday’s 1-0 Viaplay Cup semi-final victory.
The famously intimidating atmosphere at PAOK’s Toumba Stadium is another challenge the Reds will face on Thursday.
It’s going to be difficult against the quality PAOK have. But we’re here to win after Pittodrie errors – Robson
The Aberdeen manager believes his team can get the win they need, though, having performed so well for the majority of the Pittodrie meeting with PAOK before suffering a defeat which he firmly believes hinged on individual – rather than tactical – mistakes.
“We want to do well in the game. We have performed well and take every game wanting to win it,” Robson said.
“We have a duty as an Aberdeen team to perform well.
“We are here to perform like we have in the other European games.
“If we do that, we’ll have an opportunity.
“We know it’s going to be difficult against the quality PAOK have.
“But we’re here to try to win it.
“If we do everything right, we’ll have a chance.
“We were excellent for 75 minutes in the last game and it was down to individual errors.
“You can’t forget PAOK are a really good side with so much quality – so, even at 2-0, we knew you’re never done against a team like that.”
Robson added: “Individual errors are hard to deal with because you can’t coach that.
“When someone slips, you can’t take someone into a room to teach them not to do it.”
Dons gaffer not getting drawn into PAOK boss’ feud with Reds right-back Nicky Devlin
In his own pre-match press conference, PAOK manager Razvan Lucescu criticised Aberdeen right-back Nicky Devlin, who he said had taunted him by blowing a kiss following the Dons’ goal to go two-up at Pittodrie.
Robson opted not to add fuel to the fire ahead of the sides’ follow-up meeting at a ground nicknamed the “Black Hell” due to the fervent atmosphere created by PAOK’s support.
Robson said: “I never saw it (Devlin’s gesture) at the time and haven’t heard anything about it until now.
“I have a lot of respect for their manager and their club. They are a very good club.
“So I don’t know anything about it – and let’s just try to put on a good game.”