Euro Football

Derek McInnes hopes Celtic win the Scottish Cup so Aberdeen secure Euro spot

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DEFIANT DEREK McINNES saluted his Dons despite coming up short in their bid to reach Europe.

Goals from Sam Cosgrove and James Wilson helped the Reds come from behind to win at Easter Road.

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McInnes hopes Celtic do Aberdeen a favour in final

But events at Rugby Park rendered their efforts irrelevant as Kilmarnock held on to secure third spot.

Aberdeen now need Celtic to beat Hearts at Hampden next week if they are to secure a Euro place.

He said: “We’ve beaten a good team, picked up three points and done what we wanted to do but ultimately it’s not been enough.

“I thought when the post-split fixtures came around nine points might have been enough potentially, ten certainly.

“But Kilmarnock have managed to beat Rangers and that’s ultimately got them their 67 points and I think we have to congratulate that, that’s good shooting from them.

“European football is so important for us – and I’ve taken pride in us having that every year.

“But there is real evidence here of six years of good work.

“This will be our lowest points tally, 67, but we’ve gone to the last game of the season again.

 James Wilson celebrates after hitting the back of the net

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James Wilson celebrates after hitting the back of the net

“My first game at Aberdeen was a 0-0 at Easter Road, in front of about six-and-a-half thousand fans.

“Hibs were in the bottom six, Aberdeen were in the bottom six, nil-nil … and it was torture. It was brutal.

“There was nothing on it. We were just playing out a season for the sake of doing it.

“Today we were still going to the wire, there was still something on the game.

“So we’re disappointed not to get to the 70 points, which I feel is what guarantees you Europe.

 Heckingbottom has seen plenty of positives since arriving at Easter Road

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Heckingbottom has seen plenty of positives since arriving at Easter Road

“But in the cup competitions we’ve lost to Celtic in one final and Celtic again in a semi-final.

“So nobody is dumping us out of cups that we shouldn’t be dealing with. So we’ve worked really hard.

“Sometimes your reward comes from that European football and that gets you through the close season.

“I’ve just got to hope that, next weekend, Celtic do their job.”


SKIPPY AWAY Hibs ace Mark Milligan to leave Easter Road at the end of the season 


Hibs’ third straight defeat meant they finished the campaign 13 points worse off than last season.

But boss Paul Heckingbottom insists he has seen plenty of positives since his arrival in February.

And he admits he can’t wait for the chance to revamp his squad over the coming weeks and months.

 Heckingbottom admits letting Milligan go was a very hard decision

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Heckingbottom admits letting Milligan go was a very hard decision

He said: “We want to beat these guys because you’re not telling me they’re a better team than us.

“They deserve to be where they are because they were clinical today, strong dogged and that’s why they were pushing for European places. That’s where we want to be.

“We’ve got nothing to fear, nothing at all. But we got punished for two errors so let’s not make any.

“We just have to be more clinical at the other end.”

Heckingbottom also revealed the decision to let Mark Milligan go was one of his hardest as a boss.

He said: “It was a killer for me. You make decisions and people say it’s part of the game and it is, but he’s a real good bloke and he’s done great for me.

“Sometimes it’s easy if you sit someone down and tell them why they can’t be in your team as a footballer or as a person.

“He’s done great but you have to trust your gut and that’s what I’ve done.

“But it was tough that one. It was tricky.”


Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers from Scottish football plus fixtures, results and live match commentary 


Aberdeen star Dominic Ball reveals incredible singing voice as he plays song about Sam Cosgrove on guitar

 

 

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