Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

McInnes has sights set on European group stages

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is targeting the group stages of European football next season.

The Dons have secured their place in Europe for a third successive season. Having lost out in the third qualifying round in each of the last two campaigns, the Aberdeen manager wants his side to make a bigger impression in the next campaign.

The Dons have qualified for the Europa League but Champions League football remains possible if they can pip champions Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title.

Regardless of the level of European football the Dons will play next summer, McInnes wants his side to make an impact.

The Aberdeen manager said: “Qualifying for Europe in March with eight games to go is great recognition of what we have achieved, but hopefully we have bigger challenges ahead.

“For a while this club wasn’t in Europe and it should be a bare minimum for Aberdeen.

“It will be another short summer, but a little bit longer than the last two. As it stands the players should get just shy of four weeks off which is an acceptable amount of downtime for them with their families.

“European football is something we want to do well in and we have enjoyed ourselves in the last two years. But we want to qualify for the group stages and that would be a significant step forward in our improvement.”

Aberdeen’s title hopes were dented by defeat at Motherwell in their last outing before the international but with four points separating the teams at the top of the table after Sunday’s excellent 3-0 home win against Hamilton, McInnes is not ready to throw the towel in yet.

Goals from Simon Church, Niall McGinn and Kenny McLean kept Aberdeen on the heels of the champions.

The Hoops can extend their lead to seven points with victory at Dundee tonight but McInnes said: “I don’t think anybody within this club feels the season is a write-off. We will finish where we deserve to finish, but we want to keep this going for as long as we can and see where it takes us.

“The players’ ability is not in question, it’s just a case of trying to get those performances out of them.

“We showed it against Hamilton by playing on the front foot and asking questions of the opposition. When we do that it is difficult for any team to deal with.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]