Aberdeen will proceed with caution as they bid to keep their hopes of making the group stages of the Europa League intact.
The Dons fly out to Croatia today for their second qualifying round first leg tie against HNK Rijeka.
The Croats, who have eight internationals in their side and are unbeaten in their last 12 home European matches, boast a pedigree which commands respect and McInnes and his players are ready for a testing 90 minutes at Kantrida Stadium.
The Dons manager said: “We want to win but it’s important we don’t lose and get them back here with something to play for. We’ve had them watched and they are a big, strong side with plenty of pace and good technical players.
“Most of our supporters won’t know who they are but we are under no illusions. We are the underdogs in this tie against a team which qualifies consistently for the group stages.
“We know it is a big ask for us to go through but it is a game we are looking forward to it.”
On-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward and his defence will be tested by the team which finished runners-up in the Prva Liga last season but McInnes has backed the 22-year-old to handle the pressure following his assured display against KF Shkendija at Pittodrie last week.
McInnes said: “I thought Danny was really calm in his work even though he didn’t have much to do.
‘Concentration levels are important late in a game and for someone so young I thought he handled two difficult ties well.
“It will do him well to have made a good save in injury time and helped the team go through with the rest of the players and I am sure he is looking forward to Rijeka.”
The Dons were not at their best in the goalless draw against Macedonians Shkendija last week but McInnes expects the experience of two tough matches in the first round to serve his team well for their latest challenge.
He said: ‘There are no surprises in Europe and it’s a case of hoping your better players can bring that bit of quality.
‘We showed that in Macedonia in the first leg with the goal – playing around them, sucking them in and out and Shay Logan getting to the byeline and cutting it back for Niall McGinn to score the goal which ultimately took us through.
“It’s what we’re trying to fine tune over the next few weeks.”