Aberdeen manager reveals his plan to ensure this season is completed


Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists the current campaign must be played to a finish, even if it means next season having to be shorter.

McInnes has still not given up hope that the footballing authorities will give the green light for the action to resume in the coming weeks after a complete shutdown was enforced on Friday due to Covid-19.

Even if the suspension remains in place for months, McInnes insists it is imperative that this term’s fixtures are fulfilled for the sake of sporting integrity.McInnes, whose team are currently fourth in the Premiership and have a Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic to look forward to, said: “Until we minimise that risk and until we can be sure we’re going to be clear there is no way we’re going to be able to fulfil the fixtures.

“Whatever we do, whenever we can pick up the games again, whether it’s two weeks, three weeks, two months, the season must get finished.

“Whether it means then impacting on the following season by having a shorter season or whatever, we can’t just pretend what’s happened has not happened. 

“We have to fulfil the fixtures for fair play, integrity. 

“There is going to be huge destruction and god knows how it’s going to play out but whenever we do decide to get back to playing football, whether it’s behind closed doors or as we’ve always known it, the season must finish for me.

“You can’t start a season off and finish it and say all your efforts went for nothing.”

While the SFA and SFPL have locked down the game until further notice, McInnes believes no football should be played until at least April 3, when they Dons are due to host Hearts in a Friday night clash at Pittodrie.

McInnes, whose side had been due to face Motherwell on Friday evening, added: “I think we give it every chance, this has escalated pretty quickly and who is to know we can’t be in a position that we can get on top of this? 

“We’re hoping the government can take a bit of leadership now and postpone next weekend’s fixtures and then we’ve got the international break and we don’t play again until April.

“It seems common sense not to play next week and take a breadth and see where we are for a couple of weeks.

“Whatever way they do it, I do feel the season should be played out. 

“We set out in our competitions in the league to decide winners and losers, we’re in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and we want to win a Scottish Cup and we’re deserving of a chance to do that.”

McInnes, meanwhile, admits he has told his players to stay away from public gatherings to give themselves every chance of not contracting the virus, while the club’s training ground has been closed for the next week.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, he added: “We can’t be putting the players out into a social situation; don’t be going to gyms, don’t be going to cinemas, restaurants and more or less telling them to stay in their own houses as much as they can. 

“We’ve now closed the training ground down. 

“We’re assuming the game (away to Livingston) is going to be off next weekend and if that’s the case we’ve decided to close the training ground down until Monday, March 23. 

“We just want to take a step back now, although if that changes we’ll train as normal. 

“We’ve told the players to take responsibility for their own actions and hopefully a collective effort can then maybe help the situation by not contracting the virus and we can be in a position in a few weeks’ time that we can pick up on the fixtures.

“They’ll be given programmes and a lot of them have exercise equipment in their own homes.

“We’re still happy for them to go out at certain points of the day to do a run, just not at the training ground.

“A few of them had planned to go to concerts over the weekend, but you can’t do that anymore.”