Date: 24th September 2015 at 7:39pm
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Manager Derek McInnes has spoken of his disappointment at the two nil loss to Hibernian the Scottish League Cup last night.

Audio – McInnes On Hibernian Defeat

Speaking to the Official Site following the defeat courtesy of two late goals in the final ten minutes of the match, a disappointed gaffer had to give credit where it was due and he explained.

‘Firstly I have to congratulate Hibs. There was not a lot between the sides. They went with a system that we have used ourselves in European games and looked to counter attack. You have to give them a bit for credit for how resilient they were. Although they never threatened us too much we never did enough to threaten their goal either.’

McInnes went on to say that in many ways both sides lacked that quality in the final third, and for us especially given our form this year so far, that was a major disappointment but he appreciates across a season some days it won’t go for you so you can’t go over the top, but you absolutely need to make sure it’s a blip and not the start of a dip and a trend and that’s what his focus will be on now.

But there were some positives from the game still.

‘We were looking for that bit more quality in that final third and that added bit of determination to make things go our way in the final third. Whilst we had a decent amount of control in the second half we never really converted that into any concerted pressure.’

With a dip in final third quality, he went on to say the game was largely how we expected though because we knew Hibs would be tough and would be out to frustrate us, and again he had to credit them for doing that well and unfortunately for us, with us not being quite on it, it swing the game their way late on.

‘We anticipated a tough match and they deserve a lot of credit for the way Alan set his team up and how they have stuck to their task. Sometimes it does not go your way. You are not going to win every game but we are disappointed we have not found the answers to separate the teams and Hibs have.’

What certainly didn’t help was a double first half injury to Flood and Shinnie and whilst he felt we adapted well when Flood went off, he knows we never had the ‘same balance’ with Shinnie’s departure.

‘We never really had the same balance when Shinnie went off. Also with Jonny being suspended we did not have a natural left sider to play round about their shape and that did affect us tactically. Also with Willo going off early on we lost two competitors who can help you win games like this. What it also did was hinder when making our third sub. We could not make it too early in case the game went to extra time and someone else got injured.’

McInnes wasn’t going to blame that though because he knows we should’ve had enough quality to cope overall with those problems, so whilst he’ll put it under the header of ‘did not help’ he knows there were other reasons we lost the game and it’s those others reasons we must focus on and make sure we learn from.

One of the positives for him though was we didn’t sit back and not try, there was an effort but not enough of one ultimately.

‘We did try and come up with answers. I thought second half we were far better at controlling the game and we started getting a few crosses into the box. I actually thought we were looking relatively comfortable but the first goal was always going to be important. They have found a way to get through the tie where we didn’t. Normally we find a way to come through tight matches but we did not tonight.’

As for those injuries, he added that Willo was ‘not great’ and it is an ankle problem and it’s the same ankle he’s had issues with for a while so he could be out for a bit potentially but a full assessment would be needed to ascertain that.

Shinnie has picked up a heel problem and was in discomfort when he put pressure on it and tried to lift off on it, so again that needs to be looked at but it would be a short spell on the sidelines to let it heal (no pun).

‘It is a bit of a strange one but hopefully it will disappear as quickly as it came.’

Ending his interview though McInnes said we had to use this defeat in the right way and ensure we learned from it and improved as a group from it and that goes for all games obviously.

‘You have to learn from losing games. We know that we are not going to win every game you play. We felt we could win this game and we came down in good form but as I have said before you have to earn the right. I thought there was enough effort from us tonight but not enough quality. Whenever we lose we look to respond in the right way. The focus now is on the league only until the Scottish Cup starts. That is no consolation as we wanted to do well in this competition but we look to push on in the league campaign.’

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